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Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Bremner, Charles, Sage, Adam, “Hadron Collider physicist Adlene Hicheur charged with terrorism,” TimesOnline, October 13, 2009.

  1. “However, his arrest last week has sparked a furious row among France’s anti-terrorist magistrates. Judge Teissier’s critics say that he missed an opportunity to obtain invaluable information about Aqim networks by moving to detain the suspect at an early stage in his investigation. They said that he should have held off and kept the man under surveillance.”
  2. “Brice Hortefeux, the French Interior Minister, is also being criticised for publicising the arrest. Detractors say that the publicity will have driven the suspect’s contacts underground.”
  3. “Residents in the suspect’s home town of Vienne, in eastern France, said that his success had made him a role model for young Muslims. ‘They are good boys,’ said one neighbour of the suspect and his brother. ‘They are from a family of six children and from a very moderate Muslim family which is seen as a model of integration.’”
  4. “The suspect’s brother is reported to have graduated from the University of Paris with a degree in biomechanics.”
  5. “He was placed under surveillance by French officers last year after US intelligence services intercepted internet messages he allegedly sent to contacts close to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).”

Law Enforcement, Misconduct, France, Physics, al-Qaeda


Brumfiel, Geoff, “Particle Physicist ‘Falsely Accused’, Claims Brother,” Nature, online October 13, 2009.

  1. “French authorities placed Adlene Hicheur, a postdoc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), under formal investigation for possible ‘criminal association in relation to a terrorist undertaking’, He has been held since 8 October, after a raid at his family’s home in the town of Vienne, southeastern France.”
  2. “According to press reports, anti-terrorism police apparently have evidence that the 32-year-old may have had e-mail correspondence with ‘al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’ -the North African branch of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda –about potential targets for terrorist attacks within France.”
  3. “Based on conversations with other family members, Halim believes that Adlene’s arrest is probably connected to a land purchase in Algeria.  Halim told Nature that just before the police raid, Adlene withdrew E13,000 (US$19,200) in cash with which to purchase land near the family’s ancestral home of Setif in northeastern Algeria.  He says that the police were initially asking about the money.”
  4. “In a statement, CERN said that it ‘does not carry out research in the fields of nuclear power or nuclear weaponry’ and that it addressed ‘fundamental questions about the nature of matter and the Universe’.  The physicist who worked with Adlene adds that there is nothing from Adlene’s high-energy physics training that could have been used in a terrorist attack.  ‘We don’t have any material or anything you could use for bad things,’ he says, ‘except maybe a hammer.'”

Law Enforcement, Academia, Nuclear, al-Qaeda, France, Algeria


Overbye, Dennis, “French Investigate Scientist In Formal Terrorism Inquiry,” NYT, A13, Oct. 14, 2009.

  1. “A French court placed a phycisist working at CERN, the huge research center in Switzerland, under formal investigation on Monday for suspected ‘conspiracy with a terrorist enterprise.”
  2. “…identified him as Adlene Hicheur, 32, a French particle phycisist born in Algeria … [was] arrested on Thursday in hi home in Vienne, France, on suspicion of having contacts with a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a Sunniextremeist group based in ALgeria that has affiliated itself with Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.”
  3. “some incriminating evidence was in the form of e-mail messages and other communications obtained at the time of Dr. Hicheur’s arrest.”
  4. “Dr. Hicheur is part of a 49-member team from the Laboratory for High Energy Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne that is working on one experiment at CERN’s large Hadron Collider, as part of a 700-member international group.”
  5. “The research [for his Ph.D. from university of Savoie] was done at the Stanford Linear Collider in California, where he worked for several months in 2002 as part of the BaBar collaboration.”
  6. “In principle, antimatter could be used to make a powerful bomb, because particles and their antiparticles annihilate each other into pure energy on contact.”
  7. “A spokesman for the technical school in Lausanne characterized Dr. Hicheur’s colleagues as being ‘extremely surprised adn in emotional shock’ at the possibility that he was a suspect.”

Law Enforcement, Misconduct, France, Physics


McNeill, Donald, G., “Transfers of Surplus FLu Vaccine Are Going Slowly to Countries That Need It,NYT, A15, February 2, 2010.

  1. “There is now so much unused swine flu vaccine in the world that rich nations, including the United States, are trying to get rid of their surpluses.”
    *”…95 countries that told the World Health Organization last year that tehy had no means of getting flu vaccine…”
  2. “… countries that can afford vaccines save themselves first and, when the worst has passed, transfer their leftovers to the poor, using the W.H.O. as a clearinghouse. …’it’s a very complex operation.”
  3. “Each country must submit a plan proving it can store and refrigerate vaccine, give it to those who need it most, inject it safely and do medical follow-up.  It must also sign letters exempting donors from legal liability, and the W.H.O. has to certify the vaccine as safe if the country has no regulatory agency.”
  4. “Bill Gates … dismissed flu vaccine shipments a ‘a pipe dream.’  ‘It’s not practical; they have no infrastructure to deliver it.’
  5. “At first , there was deep skepticism; 80 percent of French residents polled said they would refuse.  But after a few deaths were reported, such huge lines formed that, in Lyon, the riot police were called.”
  6. “The chairman of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, Daniel Vasella, recently warrned governments breaking their contracts might not be be first in line in the next pandemic.  ‘Reliable partners will be treated preferentially,’ Mr. Vasella said.”
  7. “Canada recently lent Mexico five million doses because Mexico’s first shipments were not due to arrive until this month.  Similar bilateral deals took place between Western and Eastern Europe, a W.H.O. spokesman said.”
  8. “The [U.S.] cancellation of 22 million doses out of 36 million ordered from CSL Ltd., an Australian manufacturer that fell behind on orders anyway…”
  9. “The [US] country also promised 25 million doses to the W.H.O. [and the rest will be stockpiled in bulk antigen form, i.e. a portion of which will not placed in viles] an extra step that involves a separate payment.”

Vaccination, Flu, WHO, Pandemic, Poland, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia


SAYARE, SCOTT, “Noriega Arrives in France for Charges,” NYT, April 27, 2010

  1. ”After a six year extradition battle, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega arrived early Tuesday in France, where he was served with an international arrest warrant and is expected to face charges of laundering drug money.”
  2. ”France requested Mr. Noriega’s extradition in 2004, said Guillaume Didier, a Justice Ministry spokesman. Mr. Noriega was scheduled for release from prison in Florida in September 2007, but was held as he fought extradition. In late March, a federal judge lifted a stay blocking his transfer. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton then signed a surrender warrant; French officials were notified of the decision in mid-April.”
  3. ”In Paris, Mr. Noriega is to be retried on the same money laundering charges for which he was convicted in 1999, risking up to 10 years in prison. He will be jailed pending the trial, which, by law, must begin within two months, said Mr. Didier, the ministry spokesman.”

Extradition, France


Erlanger, Steve, ”France Denies Deal With Iran for Teacher’s Release”, NYT, May 16, 2010,

  1. “French officials have said the charges against her were baseless and also denied that her release was in exchange for a French court’s decision on May 5 to deny an American extradition request for an Iranian businessman accused of violating the trade embargo against Iran.”
  2. ”Justice Department officials in Washington said they suspected that the release of the businessman, Majid Kakavand, 37, was a quid pro quo for the release of Ms. Reiss.”
  3. ”Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner denied any deal again on Sunday. “There is no connection between these two Iranian cases, which were dealt with by the French justice system, and the freedom of our hostage,” he told a radio station. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also told the Iranian news agency, Fars, that there had been no deal.”

Export Control, Extradition, France, Iran


Mac CORMAIC, RUADHÁN, ”Teacher charged with spying in Iran returns to France”, Irish Times, May 17, 2010.

  1. ”Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last September that France should consider a prisoner swap if it wanted Ms Reiss to be freed, and her release coincided with two high-profile legal cases in Paris involving Iranians.”
  2. ”Just two weeks ago France infuriated Washington by refusing to extradite an Iranian engineer who was accused of illegally buying electronic equipment from US firms for military use.”

Export Control, Extradition, France, Iran


Hersh, Seymour M., “The Online Threat”, New Yorker. 1 November 2010  Last Checked March 9, 2011.

  1. “If China had reverse-engineered the EP-3E’s operating system, all such systems in the Navy would have to be replaced, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
  2. “The Chinese penetration as a warning about present and future vulnerabilities–…that China, or some other nation, could use… cyber skills to attack America’s civilian infrastructure and military complex.”
  3. “After years of planning, the U.S. Cyber Command was officially activated, and took operational control of disparate cyber-security and attack units… among the four military services.”
  4. “Its commander, Army General Keith Alexander… wants more access to e-mail, social networks, and internet to protect America and fight in… a new warfare domain—cyberspace.”
  5. “President Obama, who has publicly pledged that his Administration will protect openness and privacy on the Internet, will have to make choices that will have enormous consequences for the future…”
  6. “Will cyber security be treated as a kind of war?”
  7. ‘“Cyber war” was emerging as one of the nation’s most widely publicized national-security concerns.”
  8. “The federal government currently spends between six and seven billion dollars annually for unclassified cyber-security work, and, it is estimated, an equal amount on the classified portion.”
  9. “Fourteen million dollars to build a bunker for the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command.”
  10. “Cyber espionage is… capturing e-mail traffic, text messages, other electronic communications, and corporate data for the purpose of gathering national-security or commercial intelligence.”
  11. “Cyber war involves the penetration of foreign networks for the purpose of disrupting or dismantling those networks, and making them inoperable.”
  12. “Blurring the distinction between cyber war and cyber espionage has been profitable for defense contractors–and dispiriting for privacy advocates.”
  13. “The most common cyber-war scare scenarios involve America’s electrical grid.”
  14. “Many long-standing allies of the United States have been deeply engaged in cyber espionage for decades.”
  15. “A retired four-star Navy admiral, who spent much of his career in signals intelligence, said that Russia, France, Israel, and Taiwan conduct the most cyber espionage against the U.S. …”

Cybersecurity, Military, China, Russia, France, Israel


Drew, Aoife, “For their eyes only–Renault affair heralds era of corporate spying,” Sunday Independent (ROI), p. 20, January 16, 2011.

  1. “Renault has fired three high-ranking executives in strategic positions who are accused of industrial espionage.  The three are suspected of transmitting information about about Renault’s flagship electric vehicle programmes to a Chinese entity, which as yet remains unnamed.”
  2. “‘What they did was very severe,’ Ms. LeGreves [a Renault spokeswoman] said, adding: ‘It wasn’t just a case of them giving pictures to the media for instance..’
  3. “According to French broadsheet ”Le Figaro”, one executive was paid a lump sum of $500,000 ((e) 375,000), another $130,000 ((e) 97,500), while a third received a monthly payment of $5,000 ((e) 3,750).”
  4. “The French Intelligence agency DCRI (Direction Centrale du Renseignment Interieur) are working with Renault to investigate the case.  And of course, the government, which owns 15 percent stake int he firm, has got involved.”
  5. “‘It’s not going to be so much a matter of bombs and missiles as deniable cyber warfare, corporate espionage and economic struggles.  That’s going to be a particularly difficult environment for Western corporates.”
  6. “…a French member of parliament this week tabled a bill relating to the protection of economic information, a subject certain to catch the attention of business people all over France.”

Information Policy, France, China, Law Enforcement


Overbye, Dennis, “Physicist’s Jailing Is Veiled in Mystery,” NYT March 14, 2011, Last checked March 24, 2011.

  1. “When Adlène Hicheur, a French-Algerian physicist working on antimatter at CERN’s enormous particle collider outside Geneva, was arrested on Oct. 8, 2009, on suspicion of conspiring with an Algerian branch of Al Qaeda, fears of doomsday plots rippled through the tabloid press.”
  2. “Last fall, the Swiss government closed its investigation of Dr. Hicheur, saying it had found no evidence of wrongdoing, but in France, Dr. Hicheur’s detention was extended. Last month, it was extended again, by four months. Press officers for France’s interior minister, Claude Guéant, did not respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment on the case.”
  3. “So, more than 500 days after his arrest, Dr. Hicheur, now 34, remains in preventive detention in a Paris prison without having been charged with any crime. Nor, say his lawyers and his family, has any evidence been produced that he did anything more than browse Islamic political Web sites. No trial has been scheduled.”
  4. “After months of silence, Dr. Hicheur’s family and colleagues have recently begun to speak out, urging his release. The issue, they say, is a simple matter of human rights. The long incarceration has turned Dr. Hicheur’s life into a Kafka novel, they say, and is endangering his physical and mental health, as well as his career and his family.”
  5. “Under French law, a person suspected of terrorist connections can be held in “provisional detention” for up to four years, depending on the nature of the alleged offense, without being charged or tried. Dr. Hicheur could be detained for up to two years, according to his lawyer, Dominique Beyreuther-Minkov.”
  6. “Nearly 100 scientists, including Jack Steinberger of CERN, winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics, signed a letter to the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in December. They wrote, “It seems to us that there is no justification for the prolonged detention, of almost 14 months so far, of Dr. Adlène Hicheur, an internationally recognized scientist, held in much esteem by his colleagues.”
  7. “The unusual thing about Dr. Hicheur’s case, say his friends and supporters, is that it is happening to a scientist.”
  8. “After obtaining his Ph.D. under Dr. Lees at the Annecy laboratory, for work done partly at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford, Dr. Hicheur worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Britain and then joined the Laboratory for High Energy Physics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. There, he is part of a team that operates LHCb, one of the giant particle detectors on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”
  9. “Dr. Hicheur was arrested at his parents’ apartment in Vienne just as he was about to travel to Sétif to meet with a contractor about building a house on land he had recently bought there, and for which he had transferred about $18,000 to Algeria, his brother said. He was also planning to meet with physicists at the University of Sétif as part of a long-range goal to establish research collaborations with physicists in Algeria.”
  10. “According to news reports, Dr. Hicheur had been under surveillance for a year and had been in Internet contact with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate. Shortly after the arrest, a French police official told Le Monde that Dr. Hicheur had planned to attack a military base in Annecy that is home to an elite force that had recently left for Afghanistan. The French authorities have been silent ever since.”

Law Enforcement, al-Qaeda, Scientist, Physics, France, Law


Editors,  “Major Increase in cyber attacks on China’s Government”, Homeland Security Newswire, 21 March 2011,

  1. “In a twist of events, China recently reported that last year its government websites experienced a 68 percent increase in cyber attacks.”
  2. “The Chinese government has been accused of sponsoring cyber attacks against major companies like Google and Yahoo as well as governments around the world.”
  3. “A total of 35,000 Chinese websites, including 4,635 government sites, were hit by hackers in 2010.”
  4. “Attacks on non-government websites actually decreased 22 percent in 2010, while attacks on government websites had increased nearly 70 percent.”
  5. “The report also found that roughly 60 percent of ministerial-level websites have potential security risks.”
  6. “Hackers use two main means to attack government websites. One means is to turn the homepage of government websites into that of hacker organizations in order to show off their skills…”
  7. “The other is to hide hackers’ own pages on government Web sites before telling potential buyers that the servers and bandwidth of the government Web sites have been under their control and can be leased and transferred to criminals…”
  8. “After cyber attacks against China’s largest search engine Baidu, the report said that Chinese Internet companies and users should increase monitoring of malicious cyber activity.”
  9. “The report also found that five million Chinese IP addresses had been infected with a trojan horse or corpse virus.”
  10. “China has roughly 457 million Internet users, more than any other country in the world.”
  11. “The Chinese government maintains that it is the victim of cyber attacks and does not encourage them.”
  12. “The French government recently confirmed that sensitive files were stolen in highly sophisticated and targeted attacks against its Budget Ministry’s computers.”
  13. “McAfee analysts also recently determined that a series of highly targeted cyber attacks stole sensitive financial data worth millions of dollars from five major multinational oil and gas companies.”
  14. “Evidence suggests that the attacks may have originated from China…”

Cybersecurity, China, France