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28 February 2011, 16:23
A former British Airways computer expert has been convicted of conspiring with a wanted terrorist to blow up a plane.
Woolwich Crown Court heard 31 year old Rajib Karim, used his position at the airline to plot an attack with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical preacher associated with al Qaida.
The software engineer was instructed by the Yemeni preacher to take advantage of the BA strike and train as cabin crew.
The cleric also has connections with the 2009 Christmas Day "underpants bomber" and last year's cargo plane bomb plot uncovered in Britain. They communicated in a series of secret online messages, described by police as the "most sophisticated decryption and encryption ever uncovered in international terrorism."
During a four-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court, Jonathan Laidlaw, QC said: "Having made contact with al-Awlaki, he put himself entirely at that man's disposal - an extremist intent on delivering a spectacular attack on the scale of the atrocities committed in America in September 2001 and here in July 2005."
Father-of-two Karim was arrested at his desk in the BA IT centre in Newcastle in February last year. Karim has been convicted of four counts of engaging in preparation for terrorist attacks.