>Terror Plot BA Employee Gets 30 Years


Rajib Karim, 31, from Newcastle (originally from Bangladesh) a former British Airways software engineer has been jailed for 30 years for plotting to blow up a plane.

I think this is an excellent example of the insider threat (albeit a very serious one). This is someone who joined an organisation with one thing on his mind – to obtain ‘critical and urgent information’ and to then pass it onto a 3rd party to assist in the planning of an act of terrorism.
Rajib Karim gets 30 years
at her majesty’s pleasure 

Karim, who worked at the airline’s IT centre in Newcastle (having joined BA in September 2007 as a graduate IT trainee), was committed to martyrdom and even tried unsuccessfully to apply to train as an air steward during the BA cabin crew strike – which presumably would have allowed him to get ‘airside’ bearing in mind the trial heard Awlaki had emailed Karim asking: ‘is it possible to get a package or person with a package on board a flight heading to the US?’

Karim passed on key information about airport security and suggested a crippling attack on BA’s computer system. But the terrorist leader he reported to – Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki (a key figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and is thought to have orchestrated the unsuccessful October plot to send mail bombs on planes from Yemen to the U.S., hidden in the toner cartridges of computer printers) – had plans for him to supply information to blow up a plane.

The Bangladeshi national, who studied electronic engineering at a university in Manchester between 1998 and 2002 has been described as ‘mild-mannered, well-educated and respectful’. He has a British wife and child. The court heard Karim hid his hatred for the West from colleagues by joining a gym, playing football and never airing extreme views. BA colleagues had no knowledge of what he was planning or whom he was involved with, he kept his true intentions a secret. Karim ‘kept a low-profile’ at British Airways, while at home he was making violent propaganda videos for a terrorist group in Bangladesh, police said.

Throughout the trial, the court heard Karim was under the influence of his brother Tehzeeb who had spearheaded the attempts to contact Awlaki. Police spent nine months breaking the encryption on 300 coded messages found on Karim’s computer. Officers described the task as the ‘most sophisticated’ of its kind the team had ever undertaken.

He was found guilty last month of four counts of preparing acts of terrorism and sentenced today 25/3/11), he also faces deportation after his sentence is completed. Sentencing him at Woolwich Crown Court, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said he was a committed jihadist who planned offences ‘about as grave as could be imagined’. He said Karim was a ‘willing follower’ who could have brought serious harm and death to civilians had his planning with others come to anything.

Karim was clearly a disciple of an extremist Islamist (Awlaki) but he was in a very dangerous position having access to the type of information which could have assisted in the plotting of a serious terror attack. In this example he was stopped but what measures do you have in place to detect and prevent these people who are clearly out there!

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