British Airways Employee Charged in Terror Plot

A British Airways computer expert who allegedly offered to cover for cabin crew in the event of a strike appeared in court today charged with plotting suicide bombings.

Rajib Karim, who was born in Bangladesh but now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, faced three charges under counter-terrorism legislation.

The 30-year-old is accused of planning his own martyrdom. One of the charges involves the UK and another alleges that he conspired with contacts in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen.

The prosecutor, Colin Gibbs, told City of Westminster magistrates court that the charge sheet alleged Karim shared information about his work – including security measures – and offered to take advantage of planned strikes by BA staff to join the airline’s cabin crew.

It is claimed that he deliberately stayed in Britain, obtaining a passport and getting a job at the airline in order to further the conspiracy.

The software expert also faced a third charge, alleging that he collected money and transferred it through intermediaries and wire services to terrorist associates overseas.

The three offences are alleged to have taken place over a four-year period between April 2006 and February this year.

Karim was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command and local detectives in the north-east of England on 25 February.

They targeted the Newcastle office complex where he worked as an IT developer and searched his home in the city. Hundreds of computer files seized from the workplace and home are being examined.

Karim spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the 15-minute hearing.

District Judge Timothy Workman remanded him in custody and adjourned the case until 26 March at the Old Bailey.

Scotland Yard arrested three men in Slough, Berkshire, during the inquiry. They were released without charge on Tuesday.

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