British Airways employee conspired with al-Awlaki to blow up US bound flight

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London, Feb 2 (ANI): An Islamic extremist, who landed a job as a British Airways computer expert, conspired with American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to blow up a plane bound for the US, a court has heard.

Desperate for martyrdom, Bangladeshi-born Rajib Karim volunteered to train cabin crew allegedly with the intention of blowing up the aircraft, the Daily Mail reports.

It was also alleged that the software engineer had planned to hijack the computer systems of British Airways to ground flights, causing chaos among millions of passengers. Karim had already begun to build a terror cell in Britain after recruiting a baggage handler, and a security guard from Heathrow Airport, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

Before his arrest in February last year, Karim had reportedly emailed al-Awlaki, saying he would speak to his brothers "to find out the possibilities of shipping a package to a U.S.-bound plane."

The jury was also told that Karim had passed on information to al-Awlaki, the commander of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, about the airline's computer and security systems and even cabin crew names and addresses.

The Bangladeshi reportedly came to Britain in December 2006 with his British wife, Zijarin Raja, to seek cancer treatment through the National Health Service (NHS) for his baby son. It later found that the boy did not have the disease.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said that after his arrival, Karim was 'entirely committed to an extreme Jihadist and religious cause'.

"Karim believes that terrorism, including the murder of civilians, is permissible to establish, as he views it, a true Islamic state. He believes that terrorism, including the murder of civilians, is permissible to establish, as he views it, a true Islamic state. Karim was anxious to carry out such an act and he was determined to seek martyrdom," Laidlaw said.

Karim had been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK in January 2009, and just a month before had completed an application form for naturalisation as a British citizen, the paper said.

The trial continues. (ANI)

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