Washington, October 12 (ANI): A leading nuclear physicist associated with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has admitted to French investigators that he led a second life as an al-Qa'ida "mole".
The French police arrested Adlene Hicheur, a physicist working at CERN, Europe's premier particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, on charges of terrorism, 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 LHC.
According to a report in The Independent, French judicial sources have said that Hicheur has admitted link to al-Qa'ida plotters.
His brother, Zitouni, who was arrested with him last Thursday at their parents' home just south of Lyon, has been released.
Investigators believe the elder brother, who has worked on high-level, nuclear research projects in Britain and the United States, acted alone when he sent emails to Algerian members of al- Qa'ida and listed potential terrorist targets in France.
French security services fear that Adlene Hicheur was being "groomed" to become the "pivot" of a terror campaign starting in France but possibly spreading to other European countries.
French counter-terrorism and intelligence agencies have been tracking Adlene Hicheur for 18 months.
Using sophisticated monitoring equipment which allows them to read emails as they are transmitted, French intelligence concluded in recent days that he had reached the "intention or desire stage" of preparing to mount an attack. (ANI)