Ex-Cern scientist faces trial for alleged terror plots with al Qaeda

Adlene Hicheur,a French-Algerian,is accused of conspiring to organise terror attacks.

Written by Agencies | Paris | Published: March 30, 2012 4:28 pm

A former nuclear scientist at Switzerland’s Cern Laboratory is on a trial for allegedly plotting terror attacks with Al Qaeda in France.

Adlene Hicheur,35,who is French-Algerian,is accused of conspiring to organise attacks along with the north African wing of al-Qaeda.

His lawyers argue that he only sent some angry e-mails,but never took steps to gather weapons or perpetrate an attack and added there was no proof to prove his concrete terror intentions,The Guardian reports.

Hicheur was arrested in October 2009 at his parents” home in south-east France for allegedly sending various emails stressing the need to punish western governments for anti-Muslim wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,according to an order by judges sending the case to trial.

French investigators sifted through 35 email exchanges between Hicheur and an alleged AQIM member.

Investigators have said Hicheur admitted under police questioning that he believed a contact in the email correspondence,Mustapha Debchi,was an AQIM member. The police also found a file folder titled “tempo AQMI”,using the group’s French-language acronym.

A post-doctoral researcher based at a university in Lausanne,Hicheur had been on contract at the Cern Laboratory for nuclear research,studying the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe.

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