London, October 10 (ANI): In a surprising turn of events, the French police have arrested a physicist working at CERN, Europe's premier particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, on charges of terrorism.
According to a report in Nature News, the suspect, a French-Algerian, was taken into custody by French police on October 8 in the town of Vienne.
He is believed to be a postdoc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) who, since 2003, has been performing data analysis on one of four major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's most powerful particle accelerator.
French antiterrorism police arrested the 32-year-old researcher together with his 25-year-old brother.
The duo is suspected of passing along information about possible terrorism targets inside France to members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - the North African wing of al-Qaeda.
There is no evidence that his work at CERN is connected to terrorism, according to laboratory spokesman James Gillies.
All work at the laboratory is published in the open domain and is not military in nature, said a CERN statement.
According to Jerome Grosse, a spokesman for EPFL, the university had not received any official notice of the arrest.
"We are still waiting for a name," he said. "At this point I don't have any information," he added.
"Everybody is surprised," said Andrei Golutvin, the spokesperson for the LHC beauty experiment (LHCb), which the suspect was working on.
The individual is believed to have had a minor role on the project, which involves some 700 scientists from 52 institutions around the world. (ANI)