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U.K. airline worker convicted of bomb plot

Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A follower of extremist Muslim preacher Anwar al-Awlaki was convicted in London Monday of plotting to blow up a plane.

Rajib Karim, 31, a native of Bangladesh living in Newcastle, used his job as a computer specialist with British Airways to plot attacks on aviation, a jury at Woolwich Crown Court found.

After taking nine months to decipher Karim's computer messages, police found he had been talking to Awlaki, a U.S. citizen living in Yemen who is suspected in the attempted Christmas 2009 plane bombing, The Guardian reported.

In one e-mail, Awlaki asked Karim, "Is it possible to get a package or person with a package on board a flight heading to the U.S.?"

Karim claimed to know of a security guard and a baggage handler at the airline who would help.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said: "He is ... an Islamic extremist, with close association to, if not membership of Jamaat ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh, an organization committed to the establishment of Islamic rule in Bangladesh, responsible for terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and with links to al-Qaida."

Karim had denied a bomb plot and getting a job in Britain to commit terrorism, but did plead guilty to terrorist fundraising.

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