October 12, 2009

Al-Qaeda suspect was Cern nuclear researcher plotting attacks on France

A suspected “high level” al-Qaeda collaborator who provided data on terrorism targets in France and expressed a “desire to carry out an attack” was on Friday revealed to work at the world’s largest nuclear research facility.

By Henry Samuel in Paris

Published: 7:13PM BST 09 Oct 2009

A view of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN near Geneva Photo: AP

Security sources in Paris said the suspect, who was arrested with his brother on Thursday in Vienne near Lyons, worked on projects for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.

The 32-year old Frenchman of Algerian origin and his 25-year old brother were being held last night at the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, France’s equivalent to MI5, near Paris.

Christophe Teissier, a judge, said the men were being held under suspicion of “criminal activities related to a terrorist group”. They can be held for four days before being formally charged.

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