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Swiss probe scientist’s alleged terror ties

Published on 10/11/2009

Geneva -- Swiss police have opened an investigation following the arrest of a nuclear scientist in France over alleged links with Al-Qaeda, a Swiss official told AFP on Monday.

"The public prosecutor of the Confederation is conducting a police investigation into support for a criminal organisation," spokeswoman Jeannette Balmer said.

"The case was launched at the end of October. It is being conducted against persons unknown," she added, declining to give further details.

A judicial source said the probe was linked to the arrest in October of Adlene Hicheur, 32, a physicist who was conducting research related to the atom-smashing experiment at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

French magistrates have charged Hicheur, who also worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, with "membership of a terrorist group."

He was later returned to custody by French magistrates for "membership of a terrorist group" over his alleged links to Al-Qaeda.

CERN operates one of the world’s leading atomic particle research laboratories with a 27-kilometre (15-mile) particle accelerator running under the Franco-Swiss border just outside Geneva.

AFP / Expatica