BA computer expert Rajib Karim remanded over 'terror plot'

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The Independent Online

A British Airways computer expert who allegedly offered to take advantage of a planned strike by cabin crew as part of a terror plot appeared in court today.

Bangladesh-born Rajib Karim, 30, of Newcastle upon Tyne, faced three charges under counter terrorism legislation.



He is accused of two counts of planning suicide bombings and his own martyrdom. One charge involves the UK and the other alleges that he plotted with contacts in his home country, Pakistan and Yemen.



It is alleged that he deliberately stayed in Britain, obtaining a passport and getting a job at the airline to further the conspiracy.



Prosecutor Colin Gibbs told City of Westminster Magistrates' Court the charge sheet alleges he shared information about his work, including security measures, and offered to take advantage of planned strikes by BA staff to join the airline's cabin crew.



The computer expert also faced a third charge alleging he collected money and transferred it through trusted associates and wire services to terrorist associates overseas.



All three offences are alleged to have taken place between April 2006 and February this year.



Karim was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command, working with colleagues in the north east of England, on February 25.



They swooped on the office complex where he worked in Newcastle as a computer software developer and searched his home in the city.



Forensic specialists are continuing to sift through hundreds of files held on computers seized from his workplace and home.



Urgent inquiries are also understood to be under way in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen to trace the others allegedly involved.



Karim, a well-built man with a thin beard and close-cropped hair, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the 15-minute hearing. He wore a black fleece.



His solicitor James Nicolls said he did not want his client's address made public over fears of reprisal attacks against his young family. He did not apply for bail.



The address was not made available by court staff, who said they did not have it. No formal order was put in place banning its publication.



District Judge Timothy Workman remanded Karim in custody and adjourned the case until March 26 at the Old Bailey.



Scotland Yard also arrested three men in Slough, Berkshire, during the inquiry. They were released without charge on Tuesday.