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Large Hadron Collider Scientist Arrested For al-Qaeda Ties 245

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-gratitude-for-ya dept.
mindbrane writes "A scientist working as a subcontractor on a peripheral LHC project has been arrested as a terrorist. The CBC is running a story outlining the arrest of a man on Thursday in south-east France for suspected al-Qaeda links: 'CERN officials said the man, whose name has not been revealed, was working under contract with an outside institute and said he had no contact with anything that could have been used for terrorism. He had been at CERN since 2003, officials said. ... The news that someone with terrorist connections might have worked at the facility is likely to cause concern because of both the high profile of the giant physics experiment and also the technology in use, which has made some members of the public nervous.'"
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Large Hadron Collider Scientist Arrested For al-Qaeda Ties

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  • by Inominate (412637) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:16AM (#29710365)

    He could cause the creation of a blackhole that will kill us all!

    Or he could cause a couple of magnets to quench and suck up even more money!

    Maybe the two are related?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Wowsers (1151731)

      He was just looking for an appropriate place to play his "Magnetic Fields" Jean Michel Jarre CD!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Smegly (1607157)

      Talking about black holes of information, where did the French secret service get the supposed "evidence" for this supposed list of EU terrorist targets - if there is any? Certainly not off napkin scrawls hidden under the guys bed. Perhaps it was by the normal channels: beating, starving, electrocuting, mauling with dogs then stringing to the roof [wikipedia.org] some Afghan peasant/soldier in a one of the many private corporate run prisons [telegraph.co.uk] they got set up down there and around the world until he muttered "Mohammad, list o

      • Some body watched the latest Dan Brown movie too many times... and was on a witch hunt to prove somebody was "evil", have to satisfy the "public worries" after all.

    • by mickwd (196449) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @10:56AM (#29711089)

      If wearing an Al-Qaeda tie is causing such a problem, why doesn't someone just ask him to take it off?

      Or get one of those ones held on with elastic.

      Or a spinning bow-tie maybe? Seems quite appropriate for the LHC.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Frankenvince (1652443)
        You mean that there are Al-Qaeda fan gears out? About time someone makes some profit out of this. http://www.ThinkQaeda.com/ anyone?
        • No, no, no. The plan was to a make a Black Hole that would only affect Infidels; you know, those who would not buy Al-Qaeda gear when receiving telemarketing calls from Pakistan.

          It all goes back to that very disappointing experiment about the whole 'CERN Refrigerator Magnet thingy not working out; if it had, Infidels would have starved to death trying desperately to open their refrigerators. But test house wives got tired of cleaning up the oil mess, and threw the samples away; Al-Qaeda, not to be "dete
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by ssintercept (843305)

            only affect Infidels; you know, those who would not buy Al-Qaeda gear

            Is that anything like Mormon's Magic Underwear?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_garment

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hobo sapiens (893427)

        "Or a spinning bow-tie maybe? Seems quite appropriate for the LHC."

        Well, bow-ties that are *supposed* to spin but don't would be most appropriate.

  • Or a anti matter bomb like in angels and demons [wired.com].

  • Disbelieve (Score:2, Interesting)

    by V!NCENT (1105021)
    A religious al-Qaeda scientist, without a name. Why do I not believ this. Especially because al-Qaeda is not a group anymore because the US have already kicked their asses and al-Qaeda is now reffered to as people that want to commit terrorism under the name, just because they desire to use the titel. This is allowed by al-Qaeda btw...
    • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexus[ ]org ['uk.' in gap]> on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:23AM (#29710397) Homepage

      So al-Qaeda won't sue for trademark infringement?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        So al-Qaeda won't sue for trademark infringement?

        Nope. The name al-Qaeda is licensed under Creative Commons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ionix5891 (1228718)

      How do you kick ass of an organisation that didnt exist in first place?

      if you tell a lie often enough....

      • Re:Disbelieve (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 4D6963 (933028) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:15AM (#29710649)
        It does exist, although only in the sense that the group Anonymous exists. That's the same lack of hierarchy/organisation/official structure. In my analogy, moot = Osama bin Laden.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Guppy (12314)

          It does exist, although only in the sense that the group Anonymous exists. That's the same lack of hierarchy/organisation/official structure. In my analogy, moot = Osama bin Laden.

          This needs to be meme'd! Complete with a moe-fied Osama-chan with kitty-ears or something.

      • by S3D (745318) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:50AM (#29710797)
        The Foundation (Al-Quaeda in Arabic) will be created in 12000 years by Harry Seldon, as the result of nuclear proliferation initiated by time-traveling terrorist, inspired by subversive element from Hidden Centuries.
      • if you tell a lie often enough....

        ... then some nutjob, who thinks he's the last sane person on the earth, will fill in the details of how the lie is true, and then believe it absolutely and unconditionally?

      • by kdemetter (965669)

        How do you kick ass of an organisation that didnt exist in first place?

        if you tell a lie often enough....

        It does exists , but due to lack of funding , it wasn't beeing maintained anymore , so the authors decided to open source it.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:56AM (#29710553)

      A religious al-Qaeda scientist, without a name. Why do I not believ this.

      I don't believe it as well. It's much more likely that this physicist belongs to the the notorious 'Al-Jabr' group that want to enslave the world with their weapons of Math instruction.

    • by MrMr (219533) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:11AM (#29710625)
      You mean: A scientist who knows a religious person that may have been involved in a group of which certain members claimed to be associated with Al Qaeda?
      I'd say he's guilty, as in guilt by association in the third degree.
      I'm not worried until somebody is busted for being tied with Al Qaeda in the sixth degree. [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jc42 (318812)

        I'm not worried until somebody is busted for being tied with Al Qaeda in the sixth degree.

        It's also fun to note that, under the Kevin Bacon scheme, George W Bush and Osama bin Laden have only one degree of separation. They have both been together in not just one, but two movies. Those movies were documentaries, of course, but that's a trivial detail that wouldn't stop any journalist from saying that they are "linked".

        One of the movies was Micheal Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11". I've forgotten the other one and

      • I've got news! The trial already happened. And I have a snippet of the only recording that got out. [gotwavs.com]

    • by noundi (1044080)

      A religious al-Qaeda scientist, without a name. Why do I not believ this. Especially because al-Qaeda is not a group anymore because the US have already kicked their asses and al-Qaeda is now reffered to as people that want to commit terrorism under the name, just because they desire to use the titel. This is allowed by al-Qaeda btw...

      You don't believe this because it reeks of conspiracy. You know, I've always stated one thing: I'm probably the easiest person to persuade, just give me proof and I'll believe you. This however is as proven as the existance of Santa. Maybe it is true, maybe it isn't. But I'll stick to bullshit until proven truth.

    • by identity0 (77976)

      So al-Qaeda is now Open Source? What's their license, and do I have to publicly release my patches to their bombs?

    • I'd also like more details before jumping to conclusions.

      If the guy is really a terrorist `mole' or agent who has been actively working to supply them with secret knowledge, I don't have any trouble with the book being thrown at him. But if his connection is that this second-cousin twice removed is a terrorist, it is a different matter. Considering the 6-degrees of separation truism, I don't know how many of us will survive if that standard is widely applied.

      Magnus

  • Evil to level 11 !! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nomen Publicus (1150725) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:22AM (#29710391)
    All he had to do was to twist the "EVIL LEVEL" knob to 11 and a portal to hell would have been opened!
  • by AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:24AM (#29710405)
    Everyone can be linked to Al Qaeda
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Eudial (590661)

      Wasn't he on top of that arrested because he was suspected of being related to someone they suspected of knowing someone they suspected was part of what they suspected was Al Qaeda?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:21AM (#29710687)

      Everyone can be linked to Al Qaeda

      Some in a lot less than six degrees. Remember Bush was friends with Osama Bin Laden's family. It's not trolling it's a fact. The whole point is the same world leaders that are supposed to be fighting terrorism have close ties to terrorist families or are at least only a few degrees from most terrorist leaders.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hobo sapiens (893427)

        Kaiser Wilhelm and Czar Nicholas were cousins, and yet their countries were largely responsible for starting WWI...point being?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          They weren't, well, not that closely - the common root was Victoria so they were cousins by about 3 generations off at that point.

      • by PPH (736903) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @02:48PM (#29712419)

        We funded and armed the predecessors of the Taliban in their fight against the Soviets. And we continued to support them in their suppression of criminal warlords and the opium trade through the mid 1990s. Since the Taliban and al Qaida cooperate and share personnel, its quite probable that 'we' (through the CIA or overtly through the State Department) have supported al Qaida in the past.

        We have a dismal history of keeping tabs on our friinds while we carefully monitor those we consider to be our enemies. But then that's just human nature.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      For instance, Kevin Bacon [theonion.com] (and Paul Erdos as well of course).

    • by v1 (525388)

      Is being "linked to al qaeda" illegal now?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ianalis (833346)

      To be pedantic, that is true unless there is an isolated cluster of humans and the most likely case that would happen is if there is an undiscovered (by someone in the spanning cluster) and isolated civilization somewhere. Also, the six degrees of separation is the average path length and not the diameter of the network. Nevertheless, six degrees of separation is an excellent argument against suspecting people solely due to association with "terrorists."

  • WMD'S? (Score:5, Funny)

    by therufus (677843) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:28AM (#29710419)

    Large Hadron Collider. Now THAT'S a weapon of mass destruction.

  • Seriously (Score:2, Insightful)

    by agge (1244568)
    I would suspect that the worst that i has done is to send some money home to relatives in a Arab country.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:32AM (#29710439)

    so you don't have to DO anything anymore to get arrested? He was arrested for "al-Qaeda ties"? what does that mean exactly? Did he kill anyone? Did he plot to kill anyone? Did he know about a plot to kill anyone? It sounds like his sister's friend's neighbor had a cousin who was friends with someone in Al Qaeda back in 1990.

    Also, from TFA: "The news that someone with terrorist connections might have worked at the facility is likely to cause concern because of both the high profile of the giant physics experiment and also the technology in use, which has made some members of the public nervous"

    So people are concerned about someone (with terrorist connections) MIGHT have worked at the facility?!?? OMG that's a reason to start rounding up everybody with brown skin!
    Geesh

    • by rawls (1462507) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:40AM (#29710481) Homepage

      so you don't have to DO anything anymore to get arrested? He was arrested for "al-Qaeda ties"?

      Nobody likes novelty ties. It is about time some legislation was put in place to deal with them.

    • According to Gizmodo [gizmodo.com] which is paraphrasing the French newspaper Le Figaro:

      According to French newspaper Le Figaro, judicial sources point that the man—who has been working as a particle physics contractor since 2003—has links to Al Qaeda groups in the Islamic Maghreb. Le Figaro said that he had suggested terrorist targets in French soil. There's word if the target list also included the LHC, however.

      What did he do? Well, if we are to believe Le Figaro, he made a list of targets and suggested ones on French soil ... possibly even the LHC where he worked.

      I like how you accuse the world of jumping on people of 'brown skin' but you do not hesitate at all to instantly question French authorities. Let's not judge either way before all the facts are in and public, okay?

      • Let's not judge either way before all the facts are in and public, okay?

        It'd be nice if the papers would hold off reporting on things like this until the facts are in and public. As things stand, they're spreading as much disinformation as information.

        • It'd be nice if the papers would hold off reporting on things like this until the facts are in and public.

          What you are referring to is not journalism but blogging.
          Investigative journalism has a very important role in democratic societies as a tool for making information available to the public.
          Look up Watergate.

          As things stand, they're spreading as much disinformation as information.

          Not if properly sourced and leveraged by some form ethical code of conduct - backed by either their personal or their news company's reputation and/or open to criticism of peer review.

          It is quite understandable that in today's world of "FOXed out" news and anonymous internet commentators one might confus

          • Did you really have to title your post "Umm...No"? You're taking a totally unnecessary confrontational tone.

            Right now, all we know is that some guy working at the LHC got arrested for possible terrorist activities. My point was that the reports are so vague that we don't even know if the LHC was an possible target. The papers are just trying to grab readers' attention by printing "LHC" and "Terrorist!" in the same article.

            I'm afraid there's not much "Investigative Journalism" to be done here. It's just a

            • Did you really have to title your post "Umm...No"? You're taking a totally unnecessary confrontational tone.

              If you don't like your posts criticizing specific actions and cases being understood as general critiques on subjects - elaborate your posts a little further.

              You know... like the stuff you wrote in the reply-post above.
              Just dumping a throwaway comment like "Papers should STFU!" is bound to get you some negative or "confrontational" comments.

      • by El Torico (732160)

        Let's not judge either way before all the facts are in and public, okay?

        I was going to say, "You must be new here", but I recognized your nomme de slashdot. You must just be optimistic.

    • by Archtech (159117)

      All this nonsense about "links" has gone much too far. Haven't any of them read this [amazon.com] or this [amazon.com] or this [amazon.com]?

      Everyone is connected to everyone else by some kind of chain of events or relationships, and anyone with enough money, power, and malevolence can track down and highlight such "links". Giving to charities, for instance, is now a very hazardous activity unless you limit your giving to the best-known (and hence biggest and, sometimes, least efficient) organizations. All it takes is for (1) someone in authority

    • by jafiwam (310805)
      Might beat the wrap, but won't beat the ride.

      All getting arrested means is someone on the scene thought a crime was committed. It could mean a big investigation occurred, it could mean some security guard saw something in the back seat of the guy's car.

      Since he hasn't been named yet, it's sorta hard to tell between those options.
    • by mike449 (238450) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @11:38AM (#29711309)

      I know a guy who's father was on very good terms with Bin Laden, and even supplied him with weapons and money.
      Oh, wait, that was _before_ he "became a terrorist"...

    • by Xest (935314) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @03:04PM (#29712489)

      From the articles I've seen about it, he was arrested for communicating the will to commit terrorist acts and had been seeking advice and information on doing just that. He was effectively at the very start of the planning stage.

      Make of that what you will, if they have evidence of intent he could well be a dangerous person.

      It really comes down to what evidence they really did have, and what was included in those communications for which he was arrested.

      The problem is, you and I don't know what evidence they actually do have, and unless we do we can't say if the arrest was justified or not so it seems pointless speculating. If he was picked up simply out of paranoia because he was phoning uncle Abdullah in Pakistan then yeah, it's rediculous. If he was however phoning Mr Mehsud of the Taliban and asking for information producing bombs from house hold material and information on which targets Al Qaeda would most like him to blow up and what kind of casualty figures they were looking for then it's a different story.

      It's a shame it rarely ever comes out what their evidence actually was so we can properly check the validity of arrests like this.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:32AM (#29710443)
    .. Obama had fixed this already?!
  • by M8e (1008767) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:43AM (#29710497)

    I want an al-qaeda tie. I don't care what colour it is, i want one!

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:53AM (#29710539)

    . . . it seems pretty capable of breaking itself on its own, with any outside help

  • which has made some members of the public nervous

    Next you will hear that CERN should be more concerned about security. There is only one way however. If you do not want people to find out what they find out, don't start looking for it.
    It is not as if it is a super secret research facility.

    Also most likely you could get information here [web.cern.ch] in much more detail and the person arrested was seen to eat falafel in a place where the shop owners second cousins neighbor has the same name as somebody who was placed on t

    • by jc42 (318812)

      It is not as if [CERN] is a super secret research facility. ... most likely you could get information here [web.cern.ch] in much more detail ...

      True, but there's a long history of the government "security" folks not particularly caring whether the information was secret or not.

      For a historic example, read some of the copious material on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953. One of the points made by some of the historians is that the things the Rosenbergs were accused of passing to the Soviets could all be f

  • Better news article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:55AM (#29710819)

    This is a much better news article than the one from CBC:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nuclear-terror-suspect-is-top-physicist-1800927.html

    It names the suspect and it explains how he was tracked and arrested.
    According to the article, the suspect studied for his PhD at the Stanford University Linear Accelerator Center, stayed at EPFL and has published several articles.

  • by AlgorithMan (937244) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @09:55AM (#29710821) Homepage
    And I thought after we got rid of george w bush, all the "al quaeda this" and "axis of evil that" and "osama this" and "emmanuel goldstein that", "give me all your money and all your rights or they'll kill you" would finally stop...

    you know the literal translation of the word "terror" from latin is "fear" and a "terrorist" by definition is someone who makes you afraid. some people make you afraid by crashing planes or detonating bombs in your country or by sending you terror-threat videos. some people make you afraid by constantly telling you there was a bogeyman that is about to kill you - using his weapons of mass destruction unless we start a war etc.

    wake up! your own government and your own media terrorize you far worse than al quaeda ever did! If you run scared everytime someone says "bogeyman", then the terrorists have won, because you are scared and THAT is exactly what they WANT
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)

      "And I thought after we got rid of george w bush, all the "al quaeda this" and "axis of evil that" and "osama this" and "emmanuel goldstein that", "give me all your money and all your rights or they'll kill you" would finally stop..."

      Being paranoid over Al Qaeda doesn't meant they aren't a viable threat, though paranoia doesn't make for well thought-out policy decisions.

  • This wouldn't have happened at Black Mesa.

  • That's the ultimate suicide attack - trying to destroy the entire universe!

  • I am french (Score:3, Informative)

    by aepervius (535155) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @11:09AM (#29711161)
    And I do not trust the DST (or whatever it is called nowadays) as far as I can throw them. Even less than that. I can remember the "rainbow warrior" ship story, for example. It could very possible that they found a real idiot planning to do a terrist attack, or it is possible this is polically motivated and somebody needed that sort of "news" for nefarious purpose. We'll see in the next days.
  • CERNs main operations, don't make radioactive materials in any great quantities, so really the nothing for Al Quada to steal. However smaller science labs in the faciality might have radioactive materials for testing materials or for smaller science projects. So yeah, keep potential terrorist out.

    ---

    LHC [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

  • was it this guy? [blogcdn.com]

  • I think someone threatened by people buying al-Qaeda Ties, instead of Girl Scout Cookies, turned this guy in. The evidence is most likely pinned up on the wall in the employee lounge at CERN.
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Sunday October 11, 2009 @01:25PM (#29711935)

    [...] the arrest of a man on Thursday in south-east France for suspected al-Qaeda links: 'CERN officials said the man, whose name has not been revealed, was working under contract with an outside institute and said he had no contact with anything that could have been used for terrorism. [...]'

    You have to decide: Either he's in arrest for a crime, or he is suspected and nothing is known or proven yet (and most likely never will).
    I mean it's right in there: They have not found any ties. They just kinda heard from someone that kinda he could somehow be in an organization that somehow kinda could possibly be linked to...uuum...something.
    One parrot tells it to the next parrot, and soon it's al-Quaeda, and he's arrested for shit.

    But a friend told me that he came from Morocco to France, and the cops there were just like in Morocco. When he came to Germany, he was shocked, that the cops treated him like a human being. (And our cops still are on the level of semi-criminal bouncers who beat up people because they like to. [youtube.com] It must be pretty damn bad in France.)
    So I can comprehend how it can come to shit like this. But that does not make it OK.

    I will wait and see what charges they bring up (if any). Or if it's the usual witch trial, like in those countries... you know... where "terrorism" "comes from"...

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