Nuclear terror suspect is top physicist

Was a leading scientist working on Cern’s Large Hadron Collider plotting with al-Qa’ida to sabotage sites in France? John Lichfield in Paris reports

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Police outside the block of flats in Vienne, France, where the parents of Adlène and Halim Hicheur live. The brothers were arrested on Thursday after their internet traffic was bugged


The scientist suspected of plotting terrorist attacks on nuclear sites in France is a brilliant, internationally known physicist who has worked on research projects in Britain and the US, it emerged yesterday.

Adlène Hicheur, 32, who currently works on the “Big Bang” Large Hadron Collider experiment on the Swiss-French border, was once a research fellow at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton, Oxfordshire. His name is attached to dozens of research papers presented at universities and nuclear research centres all over the world.

Mr Hicheur, and his brother, Zitouni, or Halim, also a highly qualified scientist, were arrested at their parents’ home on a suburban council estate at Vienne, south of Lyons, on Thursday. Continue reading