Detectives investigating the shooting in the alps massacre are looking into whether Saad Al-Hilli could have been targeted over links to the defence industry.
Mr Al-Hilli was killed alongside his wife and mother-in-law last week. His daughters Zainab, seven, and Zeena, four, survived the killing.
There is growing speculation over the motives for the killings. French detectives are reportedly keen to question work colleagues of Saad after discovering that he was killed while working on a secret contract for one of Britain’s biggest defence companies.
Mr Al-Hilli worked for Surrey Satellites Technology Limited (SSTL) near Guildford, and detectives are expected to ask colleagues about whether his work may have made him a target for assassination.
Mr Al-Hilli was part of a team involved in an undisclosed project linked to European Aeronautic Defence and Space. The company designs and launches satellites for clients who want an “eye in the sky” for commercial, civil or security purposes.
However, friends and colleagues said his work was routine and not secret.
Shtech, the aeronautical business which he ran with his wife Iqbal and which had sub-contracted with SSTL, registered profits of just £8,330 last year. Derek Reed, who worked at SSTL, told The Sunday Times: “He would not have had to sign the Official Secrets Act for what he was doing.”
It also reported that Mr Al-Hilli had worked at the internationally-renowned Rutherford Appleton research centre in the 1980s.
According to an ex-colleague at the Rutherford lab in Didcot, Oxon, Saad worked on a giant particle accelerator which can make radioactive material, The People reported.
Four-year-old Zeena Al-Hilli who survived the massacre by hiding under the her dead mother’s skirt will return to Britain today.
Zeena who spent eight hours hiding in the car alongside the bodies of her mother and father, is reportedly flying back with two relatives and a social worker.
She and her sister, Zainab, seven, were the sole survivors of the killings in which their father, Saad, and mother, Iqbal, were murdered alongside an unnamed 74-year-old woman and a passing French cyclist.
The family were on a caravanning holiday in Lake Annecy in France when they were attacked on Wednesday afternoon.
According to prosecutors all four victims were shot twice in the head, increasing speculation that the family were victims of a professional hit.