We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

French nuclear physicist Adlene Hicheur's lawyer Patrick Baudoin, March 2012. AP Photo/Thibault Camus/PA

CERN scientist jailed over terrorist plot

Adlene Hicheur has been sentenced to five years by a French court.

A NUCLEAR SCIENTIST who worked on the prestigious CERN programme in Switzerland has been sentenced to five years by a French court for planning terrorist attacks.

Adlene Hicheur was arrested in October 2009 on suspicion of planning attacks with a north African al-Qaida group.

He was convicted of criminal association with a view to plotting terrorist attacks, a verdict his lawyer criticised as “scandalous”.

Le Monde said that the defence argued that Hicheur had never met his alleged al-Qaida contact, whom the court heard had exchanged dozens of emails with the scientist, and denied he played any role in plotting attacks.

In one email exchange, the contact urged Hicheur to carry out a suicide bomb attack. Hicheur refused, according to the messages, though he suggested targeting a military barracks in the French town of Cran-Gevrier.

Hicheur was a researcher at CERN, the European laboratory which houses the Large Hadron Collider and carries out experiments to investigate high energy physics.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.