BA terror suspect Rajib Karim ‘offered advice to overseas militants’http://www.timesonline.co.uk/
A British Airways computer specialist charged with planning a suicide bombing had volunteered to work as cabin crew during strike action at the airline, a court heard yesterday.
Rajib Karim, 30, from Newcastle upon Tyne, appeared before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to answer three terror charges. Mr Karim, who was born in Bangladesh, is accused of two counts of planning suicide bombings — including his own death. One involves an alleged plot in Britain, while the second alleges contact with militants in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen. The court heard that he came to Britain to plan an attack, and the charges state that he had been plotting terrorist acts from April 2006 to his arrest last month. The third charge alleges that he collected money to be sent overseas to fund terrorism.
Mr Karim was arrested in a raid on BA offices in Newcastle, where he was a software developer. Colin Gibbs, for the prosecution, said Mr Karim had offered to pass on information gleaned from cabin crew training — which the airline made available to company volunteers so that services could be kept running during a strike.
He said that Mr Karim had offered advice to overseas contacts about how to overcome airport security, including details of liquid allowances on aircraft, security scanners and the questions asked by immigration officials.
The charges state that Mr Karim remained in Britain to obtain a passport, got a job with BA and gathered information useful to terrorists in Yemen. The terror fundraising charge alleges that he collected money which was sent to Yemen and Bangladesh to further terrorist acts, including suicide bombing. Further allegations relate to an attack on BA’s computers to cause the company financial losses.
Mr Karim spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the 15-minute hearing. James Nicolls, his solicitor, asked that his address be withheld for fear of attacks against his family. No bail application was made.
Senior District Judge Timothy Workman remanded Mr Karim in custody and adjourned the case until March 26, when he will appear at the Old Bailey.Three men arrested in Slough, Berkshire, as part of the inquiry were released without charge this week.
BA said Mr Karim had not received aircrew training. “There is no way this individual would have been considered for cabin crew work because he did not meet the criteria,” said a spokesman.