- The Washington Times - Friday, February 7, 2003

LONDON, Feb. 7 (UPI) — Information included in a U.K. intelligence document was lifted uncredited from non-government sources, including a paper by a researcher in California using data more than 10 years old, it was reported.

Channel 4 News reported Thursday that the document, released by the government Monday and cited by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in his presentation this week to the Security Council, included data from three other papers.

A Downing Street spokesman countered to the British Broadcasting Corp. that the document was accurate and the government never claimed that the information came solely from the government.

"The report was put together by a range of government officials, the spokesman told the BBC. "As the report itself makes clear, it was drawn from a number of sources, including intelligence material."

Powell on Wednesday mentioned the "exquisite detail" in the U.K. document outlining alleged deceptive practices by Iraq regarding suspected weapons programs.

The British government's report was 19 pages long, but Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University, told Channel 4 that four pages came word-for-word from an article by Ibrahim al-Marashi, a research associate with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California, that appeared in the Middle East Review of International Affairs in September 2002.

The news program claimed that another six pages use information from articles that appeared in Jane's Intelligence Review in 1997 and late last year.

Rangwala told Channel 4: "Apart from passing it off as the work of its intelligence services, it indicates that the U.K. really does not have any independent sources of information on Iraq's internal policies. It just draws upon publicly available data."

The nature of the lifting of information showed in an instance of a misplaced comma in the article by al-Marashi. The same error appears in the U.K. document. However, the government left out the section where al-Marashi says some of his information is 12 years old.

Al-Marashi was contacted by BBC Two and said the government document was basically accurate.

"The only inaccuracies in the U.K. document were that they maybe inflated some of the numbers of these intelligence agencies," al-Marashi said.

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