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Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

Airline worker found guilty of terrorism offences

28/02/2011

Rajib Karim, a software engineer for British Airways (BA), was found guilty today at Woolwich Crown Court of involvement in preparing a "chilling plan" to blow up a passenger plane.

Colin Gibbs, counter terrorism lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Rajib Karim's deep determination to plan terror attacks whatever the cost was frightening.

"Since his arrival in the UK in 2006, he was keen to be on the frontline of terrorism activities working on behalf of the proscribed organisation Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). A year later, he found a position as a software engineer for BA, which the prosecution said he considered the perfect job, giving an opportunity sooner or later to fulfil his deadly objective."

The jury heard how in one of his encrypted communications Karim had said: "From the moment I entered this country my niyah (purpose) was to do something for the deen (faith), it was not to make a living here and start enjoying life. I got the BA job against all odds and really felt it was help from Allah."

Mr Gibbs said: "His agenda led him to get in touch in late 2009 with Anwar al-Awlaki, an extremist cleric, based in Yemen who supported the killing of innocent people. As you would expect, it did not take long for the cleric to contact the defendant when he heard that Rajib Karim was a BA employee."

As a computer expert, Karim had put layers of sophisticated software in place on his computer designed to conceal all his correspondence with his brother and al-Awlaki. Mr Gibbs said: "This correspondence was recovered after a thorough forensic analysis by the police.

"It revealed that Karim had clearly upped his game. The evidence showed that he was plotting with the cleric to use his job at BA to kill hundreds of innocent people. They also discussed his potential to sabotage BA servers to cause disruption to flights, which would have resulted in a major financial loss.

"The most chilling element of this case is probably the fact that Karim tried to enrol as cabin crew and anyone can imagine how horrific the consequences of this could have been, had he succeeded.

"Rajib Karim had already accepted that he had been involved in terrorist activities as he pleaded guilty before the trial started to charges that relate to the production of a video for a terrorist organisation; fundraising; and offering himself and encouraging others to volunteer for terrorist operations abroad as well as possession of a document containing details of the manufacture of constituent parts of improvised explosive devices.

"It was our task to show to the jury the deeper extent to which he had been involved in such activity and that he only stayed in this country in order to commit an act of terrorism.

"This prosecution shows that the CPS is committed to prosecuting to the full extent of the law those who would use terror to try and achieve their aims -whatever their motivation and the perceived justification."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Rajib Karim was found guilty of four counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorists acts, contrary to Section 5 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. He pleaded guilty before the trial to an offence of fund-raising for the purposes of terrorism (Section 15(3) Terrorism Act 2000),  possessing a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (Section 58(1)(b) Terrorism Act 2000) and three further offences of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
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