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Arrested CERN Physicist Gets 5 Years For Terror Plot

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-want-them-getting-black-hole-technology dept.

Crime 155

An anonymous reader sends this followup to news we discussed in 2009 of a CERN physicist who was arrested for allegedly being in contact with al-Qaeda. The physicist, Adlene Hicheur, has now been sentenced to five years in prison. "He came under suspicion when threatening messages were sent to President Sarkozy in early 2008. The security services uncovered a series of email exchanges between Hicheur and an alleged al-Qaeda member called Mustapha Debchi. After his arrest in 2009 police found a large quantity of Islamist literature at his parents' home. At the start of his trial the 35-year-old scientist admitted that he had been going through a psychologically 'turbulent' time in his life when he wrote the emails. He had suffered a serious back injury, for which he had been taking morphine. But he always denied he intended to carry out any attacks."

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didn't actually intend? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895699)

Well, that's OK then, let him go.

Hmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897119)

What constitutes a "large quantity" of Islamist literature? When Christians get arrested do the articles talk about large quantities of Christian literature being found in their homes? What a horrible article.

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897889)

Yes. [huffingtonpost.com]

Next question.

Re:Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898071)

Wow, totally non-reply to the post at hand. Nice try jumping the line! You failed.

What a dick. (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895707)

He was probably going to blow up CERN the fracking wanker.

Re:What a dick. (2)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895723)

Yeah! Just leave that to the birds [guardian.co.uk] ! :-)

Re:What a dick. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895761)

What's a fracking wanker? Is that like, someone who jerks off to the extraction of shale oil?

Re:What a dick. (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896019)

Almost, it is someone who extract shale gas while wanking.

Re:What a dick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896469)

Yeah, he must've been thinking of a wanking fracker.

Re:What a dick. (4, Funny)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896545)

Maybe a battlestar pilot with a habit of rubbing-one-out on the hangar deck after a successful run against the toasters.

Re:What a dick. (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895763)

Or *use* CERN to destroy the false vacuum.

Re:What a dick. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896381)

Much more likely he was going to point the proton stream [xkcd.com] at Sarkozy.

Re:What a dick. (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895795)

Nice guess: "General director of the National Police Frederic Pechenard stated in November 2009 that Hicheur planned to attack a base of the National Defence in Annecy, which harbours the 27eme bataillon de chasseurs alpins, involved in Afghanistan." (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .)

In short, it looks like he was a scientist who hated the government, not someone bent on destroying the accomplishments of western civilization.

Interestingly, the BBC article calls CERN "Cern" as though it were a person. To whom do we address our complaints?

Re:What a dick. (3, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896069)

I think I read before that BBC policy is to only capitalize the first letter of acronyms, as distinct in this context from initialisms, which are when you abbreviate something with the first letter of every word but don't pronounce the result as if a word e.g. Cern vs EPA.

Re:What a dick. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897619)

that's dumb.

Britons call it "the beeb" anyway, should we not call them the Bbc?

Re:What a dick. (0)

Wootery (1087023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896115)

Interestingly, the BBC article calls CERN "Cern" as though it were a person. To whom do we address our complaints?

You're not the first person [wordpress.com] to [tommorris.org] notice [tommorris.org] this [painintheenglish.com] . They've been up to this stupidity for a while now.

Google also turned up this [bbc.co.uk] official-looking BBC capitalisation guide, but it doesn't mention acronyms - all the ones actually in that page are capitalised correctly, though.

This [bbc.co.uk] seems to be the place to complain.

Re:What a dick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896201)

that would be "27ieme"

Re:What a dick. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896237)

Interestingly, the BBC article calls CERN "Cern" as though it were a person. To whom do we address our complaints?

To Bbc?

Re:What a dick. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897633)

To Bbc?

Yes, but only on Bcc.

Re:What a dick. (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896245)

Interestingly, the BBC article calls CERN "Cern" as though it were a person. To whom do we address our complaints?

I've made this complaint in the past. They also write PC as Pc (which is an initialism, not an acronym - the other poster claiming that they only did this idiocy for acronyms is wrong). Their reply was that it is their house style to only capitalise the first letter of initialisms. This is not in any way standard English, but they decided to do it just to be special.

Re:What a dick. (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897621)

This is not in any way standard English

Of course not, there's no such thing.

Re:What a dick. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896325)

He was probably getting anti-matter to blow up the Vatican.

Re:What a dick. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897281)

He was probably going to blow up CERN the fracking wanker.

No. He was planning on developing a process whereby 100% of the mass in a 3oz. bottle of distilled water could be converted to energy. Should be roughly enough to blow up a plane, all the surrounding planes, the airport and a good size chunk of surrounding city.

The activating mechanism, of course, fits in his underwear.

Re:What a dick. (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897443)

Who knows? Maybe some people thought that black hole creation theory was probable and decided they wanted to secure that weapon of mass destruction for use against the decadent West.

Aside from this strange story. (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895757)

I'm intrigued by the nearly-impressionistic courtroom sketch artist's work displayed in the article.

Re:Aside from this strange story. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895957)

That's a typical courtroom sketch in France, pencil and watercolor on paper. There are a handful of journalists specialized in courtroom sketch in France, so you've got to recognize their artwork. This one is signed Benoit Peyrucq from Agence France Presse. Just google his name to find more drawings from his hand.

More examples of French courtrooom sketches
http://www.iconovox.com/blog/2009/09/29/le-dessin-au-tribunal/ [iconovox.com]
http://traitsdejustice.bpi.fr/home.php?lg=fr&id=78 [traitsdejustice.bpi.fr]

Thought Crime (5, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895791)

As far as I can tell this guy did not actually do anything. He got 5 years for a thought crime.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895841)

Ah; but since the authorities made fairly significant fools of themselves in the prior guy-tooling-around-on-a-motor-scooter-and-shooting-people case, somebody has to go to jail for being a scary rag-head...

Re:Thought Crime (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895931)

Please explain how they made fools of themselves. They caught up with the guy pretty quickly; unfortunately after he committed some pretty heinous crimes.

Re:Thought Crime (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895861)

He did confess to writing the threatening emails. that is considered a crime.

Re:Thought Crime (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896891)

Perhaps the fact that it is considered a crime is the point. We have so few actual terrorists that we need to start arresting people who merely fantasize about it. Whatever happened to "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Thought != Stated intentions. (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897921)

Issuing death threats in writing or over the phone is a crime in most places, when done in a manner that can be recorded a direct threat of violence ceases to be a thought crime and becomes a stated intention, (metaphorically, it's a declaration of war). OTHOH, 5yrs is way over the top for such a trivial offence against the peace the rest of us actively maintain, especially since he had time to act on his threats but chose not to. A weekend in the slammer would be more than enough to convince him he's not as 'smart' as he thinks he is.

I think more fair chunk of the violence in the world could be averted if someone steps in early and cools things down with a glimpse of the consequences (or a distractingly funny one liner), but 5yrs is stepping in with jackboots since it's longer than most people get for carrying out their verbal threats of violence.

In other words, there are no GoodGuys(TM) in TFA, it's not a matter of choosing who's right because neither side has a moral or ethical leg to stand on.

Re:Thought != Stated intentions. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897989)

/s "I think more fair chunk" , "I think a fair chunk"

Re:Thought Crime (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898131)

Whatever happened to "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Words like yelling Fire in a crowded place or threatening the POTUS (1917 [wikipedia.org] )? Or Hate Speech laws... there are lots of words which are actionable.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895863)

Oh nice. So we need to allow terrorists to hit their target before pressing charges otherwise they're "innocent". This isn't EVE Online.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896629)

Uhh.. that's exactly what the FBI does, they just give them fake explosives. How else are you going to convict someone of terrorism unless they commit an overt act?

Re:Thought Crime (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896939)

So you want to convict people of just thinking about terrorism? You do realize that the definition of "terrorism" is going to continue to expand? Eventually it will include some activity that you think about.

Re:Thought Crime (2)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897877)

Contemplating violence is quite different from taking concrete, provable steps toward that goal. The article is extremely light on what this guy planned to do or what steps he took.

Re:Thought Crime (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895871)

You know, with shoplifters, you can't arrest them until they leave the shop with the goods. And that's a good thing. There's always the outside chance that the frozen chicken they've stuffed up their jumper will be presented at the checkout before they leave.

With terrorists, it's not such a good idea to wait until they've actually committed the physical crime. That tends to cost a lot of lives.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896071)

Not around here (Raleigh, NC). They call it "concealing merchandise" and it's prosecuted like a misdemeanor larceny charge.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897603)

"Not around here (Raleigh, NC). They call it "concealing merchandise" and it's prosecuted like a misdemeanor larceny charge."

One more in a long list of reason why North Carolina is a shithole.

Yes, I've lived there. But I won't live there again, the place is a backward
cesspool of ignorance and southern redneck morons. Oh, and the climate
sucks too. And the traffic is bad. And the service industries in the area are
staffed by retards. I cannot imagine why anyone who is truly intelligent
would want to live there.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896085)

Accidentally dropping a fun-sized candy bar in your pocket as you rummage around for your wallet is different than placing multiple products in intentionally hidden pockets while craning your neck around looking to see if anyone is watching.

As with all things in life - there are grey areas but if you take them far enough they're obviously black or white.

Re:Thought Crime (2)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896137)

Someone is generally innocent until they do/try to do something. Otherwise it's just a thought crime (unless they were threatening to do something and those threats were very likely to be carried out).

I understand the desire to protect people, but not at the cost of individual rights. Everything else is just "for the children"/TSA mentality.

Re:Thought Crime (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896329)

With terrorists, it's not such a good idea to wait until they've actually committed the physical crime. That tends to cost a lot of lives.

There are steps in between thinking about something and doing it. For example, I could write a description of the orbital corrections required how to fly an asteroid into London during the Olympics. I could hate the Olympics enough to want to do it. Unfortunately, since I lack a space program, I can't actually do it. Arresting me for doing it would make no sense. On the other hand, if I'm threatening to set off a car bomb and I'm sitting at home with a van full of fertiliser and home-made detonators, the security services would be negligent if I were allowed to go for a drive.

Re:Thought Crime (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896839)

At what point is it acceptable for them to step in?

When you get in the van? When you buy the fertilizer? When you put them together into something that could explode?

How long are we allowed to monitor you? When you bought the van in the first place?

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896581)

With terrorists, it's not such a good idea to wait until they've actually committed the physical crime. That tends to cost a lot of lives.

Not to mention the terrorist in question often isn't around anymore to have charges pressed against him.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897939)

You can't talk about "actually committed the phyical crime" without defining the crime. There could be a law that makes it a crime to stuff a frozen chicken up one's jumper, something much more observable than what goes on inside someone's head. AFAICT from TFA, all this guy did was communicate with "an alleged contact in al-Qaeda" and express willingness to become part of an "active terrorist unit." If that's enough to make him a terrorist, a woman saying "I'm going to kill my husband" could be convicted of attempted murder.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898231)

You can't talk about "actually committed the phyical crime" without defining the crime. There could be a law that makes it a crime to stuff a frozen chicken up one's jumper, something much more observable than what goes on inside someone's head.

And there could be a law that makes it a crime to engage in email correspondence with people you know to be in terrorist organisations, saying you are wanting to do a terrorist act. Which is equally observable.

a woman saying "I'm going to kill my husband" could be convicted of attempted murder.

Women who've tried to make arrangements with others to carry out the murder of their husbands have indeed been prosecuted.

In all these cases it's a step beyond thought crime, to early action. One can't wait for later action when people would die.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895891)

+1 for the Orwell reference

Re:Thought Crime (4, Funny)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895893)

As far as I can tell this guy did not actually do anything. He got 5 years for a thought crime.

Given this person is a theoretical physicist, perhaps thinking about, but not doing, is sufficient evidence of something? Just a thought ;^)

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896519)

He was a theoretical physicist, but an actual towelhead.

Re:Thought Crime (3, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895901)

He sent threats to the president of France. That a crime most countries would take pretty seriously.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895955)

So give him jail time based on what he did instead of what he might do. There are sane Laws against uttering threats in most countries. I assume france is the same. Considering this is terror-law, he should be happy he was at least charged with something and given a sentance. If this was in the US he might not ever be chrged or released.

Re:Thought Crime (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896063)

They did exactly that. Threat is 5 years, acting on that threat is life without parole. People are arrested and convicted of that crime in the US on a fairly regular basis.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896387)

In canada here, whacko's make threats occasionally to our CSR's at the cable company i work at over issues with billing and what-not. i doubt they ever do jail time, but they do get a visit from the local police. They must have figured that this guy was capable and willing to make good on his threat to give him 5 years. Not sure how it falls under a terror law tho. youd think the pre-existing threat uttering laws would do.

Re:Communication Crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895911)

FTFY

Re:Thought Crime (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895933)

That is not fair, there is no proof that he ever thought about attacking anyone.
The only evidence I see is that he knew a few Islamic extremists and had some of their literature. So he is guilty by association.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895935)

As far as I can tell this guy did not actually do anything.

Yeah, in the US, at least one overt act is required in addition to talking/email/whatever for crimes of conspiracy to commit foo. Dunno how things are in France, but it sucks.

He got 5 years for a thought crime.

Well, no. A thought crime would be based on holding certain opinions. AIUI (I haven't read the emails -- are they available somewhere?) he actually discussed plans for a terrorist attack. It's certainly not something that IMO could be considered criminal in a free country, but it is a small step short of thought crime as such.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897031)

he actually discussed plans for a terrorist attack

You can see such discussions even in some very public threads on Slashdot. One can discuss plans of a terrorist attack to commit it or to defend against it. The distinction can be undetectable until you actually start acting toward one goal or another.

Re:Thought Crime (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895939)

Hardly. Conspiracy and planning to commit a crime is a crime, for good reason. Do we wait for a murderer to shoot someone before we can arrest and charge him? No, and for good reason.

Thought-crime is quite different from actively communicating willingness to be part of an "active terror unit" (as TFA says).

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895983)

the pre-crime task force stopped him.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895987)

Send him to Guantanamo ?

Re:Thought Crime (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896053)

He didn't go to jail for the thought of 'overthrowing the government
  but for the means he threatened to do it with"

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896125)

It stops being thought crime once you email it. Thats when it becomes conspiracy to commit a crime.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896339)

Planning a crime is a thought crime?

Re:Thought Crime (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896357)

Yes,

And we have Christian terrorists in this country who actually carry out acts of terror-- bombing family planning clinics, murdering doctors, kidnapping family members of doctors, blowing up federal buildings killing hundreds. etc., but when it is a Christian, it is a lone actor, not Christian terrorists. I bet every one of the Christian terrorists had "Christian literature" in their homes as well.

If we are going to go after Muslims, we need to go after Christians and Jews, etc. using he same standard, or we cannot call ourselves a nation of laws.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896849)

I've never heard of an abortion clinic being bombed by Christian extremists (or by anyone else for that matter) in France.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896887)

Don't upset the anonymous muslim

Re:Thought Crime (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897663)

As far as I can tell this guy did not actually do anything. He got 5 years for a thought crime.

He's a CERN phycicist. That's some serious thinking going on in his head. It's like driving a tank instead of a bike. You must be more careful with a brain like that, everybody knows that.

Higgs Boson is great! (4, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895817)

And Standard Model is His prophet!

Re:Higgs Boson is great! (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896099)

Have you heard the good news of our Super-Symmetric Savior?

Re:Higgs Boson is great! (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896311)

Begone, Fermion apostate!

Seriously? (1)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895883)

After his arrest in 2009 police found a large quantity of Islamist literature at his parents' home.

He obviously must be a terrorist, then.

Re:Seriously? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896065)

one data pooint without context. Well done. Now you can forgo thinking all together.

Re:Seriously? (1)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896857)

woosh

a large quantity of Islamist literature (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895915)

i bet it turned out to be an oversized print of a single copy of the quran. jihad on me for not capitalizing it. so if i find a large quantity of christian literature, should i assume an impending crusade? actually, i probably should.

Re:a large quantity of Islamist literature (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896091)

If they also had made threats,had the means to carry them out, and was in contact with terrorist christian cells to aid in carrying out your threats? then yes, you should expect that person to carry out a Christian Jihad i.e. crusade

Re:a large quantity of Islamist literature (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896351)

sooooo, dubya bush then...

"intent" is the concept in question here (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39895973)

if you threaten mayhem, it is a not a "thought crime" to catch you and punish you on that basis

if you threaten mayhem it is a statement of intent, for which you can, and should, be punished

for example, if i were to threaten the life of the president, i would get a visit from the secret service, and i should get such a visit, and i should be punished

if i call my girlfriend and tell her i am going to kill her, she should call the police, and the police should visit me, and they should visit me, and i should be punished

this is not rocket science here folks. if you make a statement of intent to do bodily harm, it is going to be taken seriously, and it should be taken seriously

now mod me troll and go back to being flabbergasted at a simple commonplace and normal legal convention

Disagree on simplistic view... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896043)

for example, if i were to threaten the life of the president, i would get a visit from the secret service, and i should get such a visit, and i should be punished

You'd probably get a visit but you should NOT be punished.

In this instance the jail time comes because he went beyond stupid threats into contacting someone else about details that might bring threats to fruition. A much grayer area than mere threats...

Re:Disagree on simplistic view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896277)

Earth to idiot - if they feel there is INTENT behind the threats, absolutely he should be punished. Otherwise, its a massive waste of dollars and time for the Secret Service.

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (1)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896165)

if you threaten mayhem, it is a not a "thought crime" to catch you and punish you on that basis

The likelihood of them carrying out the threat must also be taken into account. For instance, we can't punish people who were simply emotional and/or joking and had no intent to carry out the threat anyway.

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896355)

go ahead and threaten to kill someone. then later say you were just being emotional or joking. tell us how that works out for you

you don't joke about making threats of bodily harm. it isn't funny, because the "likelihood" of carrying out a threat is not something that anyone except the threat maker can know

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (1)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896451)

go ahead and threaten to kill someone. then later say you were just being emotional or joking. tell us how that works out for you

Citing how the law is right now not isn't going to convince me of anything. If anything, it's just an appeal to law.

it isn't funny

Your opinion. There have been cases where people have been misinterpreted by the government. Everyone involved knew it was a joke, but since the government doesn't know people, they took it seriously (although the fact it was a joke should have been obvious).

Having robotic, unsympathetic overlords as rulers can truly be harmful.

because the "likelihood" of carrying out a threat is not something that anyone except the threat maker can know

What are you talking about? After investigating (assuming it wasn't a completely obvious joke), if it is determined that they did not have the means to carry out the threat to begin with, a prison sentence likely won't be necessary.

For instance, if someone said that they were going to build a billion nuclear bombs in a single day and shoot them at the US, that would qualify as an obvious joke. At the very least, nothing to take seriously.

Lighten up.

Canada agrees (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896187)

Uttering threats [yourlaws.ca] is a criminal act in Canada.

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896515)

for example, if i were to threaten the life of the president, i would get a visit from the secret service, and i should get such a visit, and i should be punished

This does not apply to some people

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/publisher-regrets-suggesting-that-israel-assassinate-obama/

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897221)

Not the same. I can say I wish someone would kill Rand Paul, but that's not the same as threatening to do it myself.

Hell, didn't the CIA have an assassination market under the guise of payment for predictions on the date of death of people?

Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897321)

You could look it up.

Or a more modern version, said in an exaggerated New Jersey accent:

"I wish somebody would take care of that pain in the ass."

ironic captcha: extort

Re:"intent" is the concept in question here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898209)

You know the 'Shift' key, the one you used to make the quotation marks around "thought crime", well you can also use that button to make big letters...

Sideshow Bob says it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39895985)

I'm presently incarcerated. Convicted of a crime I didn't even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?

I wonder about the sentence disparity (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896265)

Murder: Get X years, life in prison, or death penalty

Attempted murder: Get X/2 years

Why are we rewarding people for failure?

Re:I wonder about the sentence disparity (3, Interesting)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896507)

We're selectively breeding for an inability to commit murder. Social engineering at its finest!

Tutturu~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896075)

El. Psy. Congroo.

Leeeeeeet me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39896079)

He was trying to blow up the vatican with stolen antimatter...?

Imagine his power (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896147)

The ability tear this universe another black hole. I just shudder to think.

5 years is nothing (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896633)

The penalty for this very serious crime is unbelievably lenient. The muslims of France who would wish her ill, must be pissing themselves laughing now.

Healing Time (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896675)

Well now he has 5 years to let his back heal without too much else to worry about.

Missed opportunity for DCRI/DGSE (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39896807)

What ever happened to old fashioned spycraft? You know who he is, put him under surveillance, monitor his emails/phone/travel/visitors, he's in contact with al Qaeda, let him run with it. If he is directed to meet any local AQ contacts, bam, new surveillance targets. If he organises an actual attack, you intercept and now you have him and possibly a whole local cell, and not just for writing a few stupid emails. Hell, if nothing happens, then arrest him, wave terrorism charges at him, but only to turn him and send him out to work for you; give him a better story to lure out AQ, say he has access to radioactive material for a dirty bomb, but needs explosives and a bomb maker...

What a fucking farce. (2)

euxneks (516538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897351)

The security services uncovered a series of email exchanges between Hicheur and an alleged al-Qaeda member called Mustapha Debchi.

OK, Alleged. Someone alleged to be part of the Al-Qaeda. Why would that be a crime?

After his arrest in 2009 police found a large quantity of Islamist literature at his parents' home.

This is utterly ridiculous! What the fuck? Where is his religious freedom? I'm atheist as fuck, but if this dude had Christian literature it wouldn't have even garnered attention. Fuck everything about this.

Re:What a fucking farce. (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897435)

I'm anti-theist, and if they want to lean on this fellow for being an Islamist, he can leave Europe and move to one of his holy places.

Islam is currently the worst superstition, all superstition is indefensible, and I have ceased to care about the rights of Muslims.

I'm fair. I value them as little as they value my Infidel self.

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