Big Bang scientist 'admits plotting Al Qaeda atrocity'
By Emily Andrews, Peter Allen and Nick Mcdermott
Last updated at 8:05 AM on 12th October 2009
A nuclear scientist arrested by armed police is said to have admitted plotting an Al Qaeda terrorist atrocity, possibly in Britain.
Dr Adlene Hicheur, 32, has confessed to talking over the internet with the North African branch of the terror organisation about attacks on 'Western targets', according to officials in France where he was held last week.
Hicheur, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, worked for the CERN nuclear research laboratory near Geneva and had also worked at the top secret Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England.
French authorities have been working with MI5 to track his movements in the UK amid growing fears he could have been planning a nuclear attack in Britain.
Agents from both countries fear he had been 'pinpointing nuclear targets' before passing them on to terrorists in Algeria.
Hicheur's apparent confession in a high-security Paris jail came as his brother Dr Halim Hicheur, 25, was released without charge after three days of questioning.
'Following questioning, and the accumulation of evidence, it is believed that the older brother had been planning to commit at least one terrorist attack,' said a senior intelligence source working on the case.
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