French authorities have arrested an engineer working at the Cern nuclear research lab on suspicion of links with al-Qaeda.
The suspected Islamist, one of a pair of Algerian brothers detained today, worked at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) on the Franco-Swiss border just outside Geneva.
The brothers were arrested in the town of Vienne in southeastern France and are suspected of being close to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), also known as al-Qaeda’s north African wing.
Le Figaro newspaper reported that the older brother, who worked at Cern, had been in contact with AQIM and had suggested several French targets for militant attacks.
While the authorities say there was no evidence of “a clearly established plot at this stage”, I would like to know how much access these two subjects had to nuclear materials that could be used in a dirty bomb, and how far along they were.