Guilty verdict in BA terror plot

A
British Airways computer expert who plotted to blow up a plane has been found
guilty of terror charges.

Rajib
Karim, 31, from Newcastle, used his job to access information for radical
cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

He
denied four charges, including sharing information of use to hate groups.

But
after four days of deliberations, the jury found him guilty of all four
charges.

Karim
was committed to an “extreme jihadist cause” and determined to become
a martyr, jurors were told.

The
Bangladeshi national, who moved with his wife and son to Newcastle in 2006, had
already admitted being involved in the production of a terrorist group’s video.

Karim,
a privately-educated IT expert from Dhaka, became a supporter of the extremist
organisation Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) after being influenced by
his younger brother, Tehzeeb, the court heard.

He
was described as a “mild-mannered, well-educated and respectful” man
who hid his hatred for Western ways from colleagues by joining a gym, playing
football and never airing extreme views.

But
at the same time he was using his access to the airline’s offices in Newcastle
and at Heathrow to spread confidential information.

After
gaining a post-graduate job at BA in 2007, Karim held secret meetings with
fellow Islamic extremists at Heathrow and, in 2009, began communicating with
al-Awlaki from his home in Brunton Lane.

Colin
Gibbs, counter terrorism lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, welcomed the
verdict.

He
said: “Rajib Karim’s deep determination to plan terror attacks whatever
the cost was frightening.

“He
found a position as a software engineer, which the prosecution said he
considered the perfect job, giving an opportunity sooner or later to fulfil his
deadly objective.”

Karim
will be sentenced on 18 March.

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