Adlene Hicheur, a 35-year-old Algerian-born nuclear physicist who worked in Switzerland’s CERN laboratory, was sentenced to five years in prison by a French court for “criminal association with a view to plotting terrorist attacks” on a French barracks with al-Qaida’s North African affiliate.

Claiming to have only explored jihadist ideas without any plans to carry them out, Hicheur says he is a victim of overzealous French anti-terror laws. –ARK

The Guardian:

The case centred on about 35 emails between Hicheur and an alleged contact with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb through Mustapha Debchi, who tried to convince him to carry out a suicide bombing. Hicheur declined, but in one response suggested striking at the barracks of a battalion of elite Alpine troops in the eastern town of Cran-Gevrier.

Hicheur claimed he was on morphine for a herniated disc and was going through a personal “zone of turbulence” when he wrote an email in 2009 that advocated an attack on the barracks.

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