French authorities have arrested a man connected with Cern over suspected links to al-Qaeda.
The 32-year-old man was arrested in the French town of Vienne on Thursday.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), near Geneva, is the organisation behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) scientific facility, a giant experiment that Cern hopes will help it discover more information than is currently known about the nature of matter.
According to a report by the BBC, the arrested man is believed by French police to have "been in contact over the internet with people linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and had been planning attacks in France".
"We can confirm that a person was arrested by French police in Vienne yesterday who was a user of Cern facilities," Cern spokesman James Gillies told ZDNet UK on Friday. "It was a member of the LHCb [the 'Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment', which aims to recreate conditions that immediately followed the Big Bang] experimental collaboration."
"Any data he had access to was public data," Gillies said. "He wouldn't have had access to secret information or data of any use to terrorists."
Tom Espiner contributed to this report.