Rajib Karim, the 31-year-old British Airways IT worker that has been accused of plotting a terror attack, was aiming to blowing up a US-bound plane, a court was told this week. The employee is said to have been in contact with terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki for the plan.
It’s been alleged by prosecutors that Bangladesh-born Karim volunteered to train as a flight attendant during the strikes at British Airways in the hope of being able to blow up an aircraft. He is also accused of planning to hijack the airline’s computer systems in order to ground flights and cause chaos for millions of travelers.
Prosecutors also told the court that Karim had started to recruit a terror cell in the UK, starting with a Heathrow Airport baggage handler and a security guard. In the last email that he sent to al-Awlaki, the American-born commander of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula, before he was arrested last February, he told the radical that he would talk to his brothers about the possibility of shipping a package on a US-bound aircraft. During the exchange of emails before this, he was divulging crucial information about the carrier’s security and computer systems.
Aside from the terrorism cell and emails exchanged with al-Awlaki, Karim also exchanged messages with Tehzeeb, his brother who is in Pakistan, agreeing that civilians were legitimate targets for terrorism. His brother said that he hoped Karim didn’t have any doubt that all the citizens around him are fighters and that their promise with them is broken and invalid from many sides. Karim replied that he didn’t doubt.