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article imageScientist at particle collider arrested for terrorist links

By Kevin Jess     Oct 10, 2009 in Crime
French officials have arrested a physicist who works at the facility that houses the world's largest particle collider. He is suspected of having al-Qaeda links.
The man, 32, is the eldest of two brothers arrested in Vienne in South Eastern France on Thursday, reports the MailOnline.
The particle collider, otherwise known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is housed in a concrete encased tunnel that stretches 27 km and as much as 175 meters beneath the France and Switzerland border.
The collider aims to re-create conditions in the universe not long after the Big Bang, reports CBC News.
Some sceptics fear the impact of the particles could endanger the earth by creating micro black holes, which has caused the public to be nervous about the project.
CERN and leading physicists have dismissed any Doomsday scenarios and have insisted the project is safe, but the arrest of the man who is yet unidentified has made many in the scientific community nervous, fearing terrorist organizations could now be looking at the nuclear industry as a possible target, says the MailOnline report.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said the man was working under contract with an outside institute since 2003. He was not in contact with anything that could have been used for terrorist purposes or for use in the military, says the CBC report.
Around 7,000 scientists from 20 countries are involved in experiments with the Large Hadron Collider which was shut down only nine days after it was turned on due to overheating last September.
It is now expected to be restarted in November of this year or early 2010.
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