Airline terror plot man gets 30 years

A FORMER British Airways software engineer has been jailed for 30 years for plotting to blow up an airliner.  Rajib Karim, 31, used his job to get information for a Yemini-based al-Qaeda preacher to target BA’s flights in the United States.
Sentencing him in London the judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, said he was a committed jihadist whose actions were: “about as grave as could be imagined” and added that Karim had worked “incessantly” for terrorist purposes.
The judge noted that Karim, originally from Bangladesh, had hidden his intentions from his BA colleagues at BA and added that Karim was a: “willing follower” who could have brought serious harm and death to civilians had his plans come to fruition.  He told the court that: “The offences were of the utmost gravity. You are and were a committed jihadist who understood his duty to his religion involves fighting and, God-willing, dying and then being rewarded in the afterlife.
“It is a feature of this case that none of those who worked with you at British Airways had even the slightest notion of what was going on.”
Karim used his access to BA’s offices in Newcastle upon Tyne and London’s Heathrow airport to pass on sensitive information.
Karim and his brother had contacted radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, an important al-Qaeda member in the Middle East, saying they wanted to fight jihad overseas.
But Mr Awlaki, a US-born preacher, asked Karim to keep his job at BA in order to find a way of getting a bomb on an aircraft.
The court heard that Karim agreed to work with Mr Awlaki and offered to try to crash BA’s computer systems, in order to bring mass-disruption to international travel.
Karim, who was said to be well educated and from a middle-class family in Dhaka, was described in court as being “mild-mannered, well-educated and respectful”.
He pleaded guilty to further terrorism offences before the trial began, admitting he was involved with extremists who wanted to overthrow Bangladesh’s government.
The judge praised the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command for its painstaking work of decrypting about 300 of Karim’s coded messages.