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30 years for BA terror plotter

A British Airways computer expert has been jailed for 30 years for plotting to launch a 9/11-style terror attack from the UK.

Rajib Karim, 31, wanted to use his position at the airline to plant a bomb on a plane as part of a "chilling" conspiracy with Anwar Al-Awlaki, a notorious radical preacher associated with al Qaida.

Among numerous plots to bring the airline to its knees, Karim hoped he could exploit industrial action by staff to become a cabin crew member and cause an explosion on a US-bound flight.

He was found guilty last month of four counts of planning terrorism.

Sentencing him at Woolwich Crown Court, judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said they were offences "of the utmost gravity".

The judge recommended that Karim be automatically deported after he has completed his sentence.

He told Karim that he "worked incessantly to further terrorist purposes" while leading a quiet and unobtrusive lifestyle.

The judge said: "The offences were of the utmost gravity. You are and were a committed jihadist who understood his duty to his religion involves fighting and, God-willing, dying and then being rewarded in the afterlife."

He added: "It is a feature of this case that none of those who worked with you at British Airways had even the slightest notion of what was going on."

Defence counsel James Wood said Karim's actions were "wholly embryonic" and that there was little certainty about what would have transpired.

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