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"Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation" Is This About Iraq, Or Britain? Britain Admits Its Latest 'Intelligence' Report Was Plagiarized

February 10, 2003


The latest British intelligence report is called: "Iraq: Its Infrastructure Of Concealment, Deception And Intimidation." Right now those charges could just as easily be leveled at Britain.

The British government is struggling to recover from acute international embarrassment after admitting that much of this latest 'intelligence' report on Iraq was plagiarized.

The British government released the report last Monday. Britain said it was based on "intelligence material." On Wednesday, Secretary of State General Colin Powell praised the report as he argued for war in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council.

But then 28-year-old Cambridge University lecturer Glen Rangwala discovered that much of the report was stolen from an American student’s doctoral thesis. The student, Ibrahim al-Marashi, wrote the thesis based on Iraqi papers abandoned in Kuwait some 12 years ago.

Rangwala sent an email to two Cambridge students, who forwarded it to journalists.

Rangwala also discovered the so-called "intelligence" report appeared to have been cobbled together not by Middle East experts, but by Alastair Campbell’s secretary and other assistants. Alastair Campbell is the British Government’s chief spin doctor.

Many sections from al-Marashi’s paper were cut and pasted whole without tinkering (or attribution). But others show evidence of the spin doctors’ work. For example, in the original paper, a section on the Iraqi directorate of general intelligence discusses the directorate’s role in QUOTE "aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes." In the British report that phrase became: "supporting terrorist organizations in hostile regimes."


  • Glen Rangwala, the lecturer in politics at Cambridge University in Britain who discovered Britain’s latest intelligence report on Iraq was stolen from a post-doc’s thesis. He has also written a report: "A First Response to Secretary Colin Powell’s Presentation Concerning Iraq"

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