Aviation News

March 1, 2011

Former British Airways Employee Convicted of Plotting to Bomb U.S.-Bound Airliner

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By: BNO News
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A former British Airways employee was found guilty on Monday for a terrorist plot to bomb a U.S.-bound flight, prosecutors said. He faces life in prison.

British Airways 777 G-VIIM

Rajib Karim, 31, originally of Dhaka, Bangladesh, was convicted of four terrorist-related acts for his plot to bomb a British Airways flight headed to the U.S. He was arrested last February at his office.

According to court documents, Karim had been acting under Yemeni terrorist leader and Islamic lecturer Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and has been linked with the Fort Hood, Texas killings of 13 people, as well as a failed bombing on a Detroit, Michigan-bound flight on Christmas Day 2009.

Karim, working for British Airways’ Newcastle office, applied to work as cabin crew as part of the bombing plot but failed to get accepted. He had maintained contact with al-Awlaki through highly sophisticated encrypted messages that took agents over nine months to decipher.

Furthermore, through the messages, Karim and al-Awlaki were trying to figure out ways to load a bomb or bomber onto one of the airline’s flights. Karim also shared information regarding the airline and offered financial assistance in terrorist acts.

Karim’s sentencing is scheduled to take place at Woolwich Crown Court in Southeast London