Thursday 23 November 2017

BA worker guilty of terror plots

Tom Morgan in London

A British Airways computer expert was convicted yesterday of plotting to launch a 9/11-style terror attack from the UK.

Rajib Karim (31) wanted to use his position at the airline to plant a bomb on a plane as part of a "chilling" conspiracy with Anwar al-Awlaki, a notorious radical preacher associated with al-Qa'ida.

Among numerous plots to bring the airline to its knees, Karim hoped he could exploit airline strikes to become cabin crew and cause an explosion on a US-bound flight.

In encrypted emails with his brother and terror contacts in Iraq, Bangladesh, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he also discussed how he could attack BA computer servers and ground its entire fleet.

The father-of-one was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of four counts of planning terrorism after a jury heard how he was "committed to an extreme jihadist and religious cause" and was "determined to seek martyrdom".

Scotland Yard described the case as the most sophisticated decryption task it had ever undertaken.

Colin Gibbs, a counter-terrorism lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), described Karim's deep determination to plan an attack as "frightening".

"The most chilling element of this case is probably the fact that Karim tried to enrol as cabin crew and anyone can imagine how horrific the consequences of this could have been, had he succeeded," Mr Gibbs said.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith set a sentencing date at the same court of March 18.

Irish Independent

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