Friday, October 09, 2009

Nuclear engineer from Cern lab arrested for al-Qaeda links

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From The Times
October 10, 2009
timesonline.co.uk
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Fears that al-Qaeda is planning an attack on the nuclear industry in Europe were renewed yesterday after French secret agents arrested a physicist working at an atomic research centre.
The 32-year-old man, who was detained with his brother, 25, is suspected of providing a list of terrorist targets to North African Islamic radicals. He worked for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, according to French police sources.
Agents were said to have intercepted messages in which the physicist, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, had suggested targets in France.
He is believed to have been in contact with members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian-based terror organisation that joined Osama bin Laden’s network in 2007.
“He had expressed a wish or a desire to commit terrorist actions but had not materially prepared them,” an intelligence source said.
After he was identified, during an investigation into a French network that had sent Islamic radicals to Afghanistan, the man was put under surveillance for about 18 months. Last month Judge Christophe Teissier, an investigating magistrate specialising in terrorism, opened a formal inquiry into his activities.
The brothers apparently came to the attention of the secret services when agents monitored the internet as part of the inquiry into the recruitment of extremists to fight in Afghanistan. Several exchanges were recorded between the brothers and suspected al-Qaeda contacts...

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