Terror-plot IT expert gets 30 years

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A computer expert working for British Airways was jailed for 30 years yesterday for plotting a terror attack.

Rajib Karim, 31, wanted to use his position at the airline in the UK to plant a bomb on a plane as part of a “chilling” conspiracy with Anwar Al-Awlaki, a radical preacher associated with al Qaida.

Among numerous plots to bring the airline to its knees, Karim hoped he could exploit industrial action by staff to become a cabin crew member and cause an explosion on a flight bound for the United States.

He was found guilty last month of four counts of planning terrorism.

Sentencing him at Woolwich Crown Court, judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said they were offences “of the utmost gravity”.

The judge recommended that Bangladeshi national Karim be deported after he has completed his sentence.

He told Karim that he “worked incessantly to further terrorist purposes” while leading a quiet and unobtrusive lifestyle.

The judge said: “The offences were of the utmost gravity. You are and were a committed jihadist.”

He added that none of those who worked with Karim at British Airways had the slightest notion of what was going on.

Defence counsel James Wood said Karim’s actions were “wholly embryonic” and there was little certainty about what would have transpired.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Colin Gibbs described Karim’s deep determination to plan an attack as “chilling”.