British Airways

A British Airways software developer planned to carry out terrorist attacks by taking advantage of a walkout by airline staff, a court heard today.

Rajib Karim, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has been charged with two counts of planning suicide bombings.

Karim was arrested on February 25, and forensic specialists are currently searching through hundreds of files held on computers seized from his workplace and home in Newcastle.

Karim allegedly shared information about his work, including security measures, and offered to join the airline’s cabin crew during the planned walkout by BA staff, the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

It is also alleged that he came to Britain, obtained a passport and secured a job at the airline as part of the conspiracy.

He also faces a charge for allegedly transferring money to terrorist groups overseas between April 2006 and February 2010.

The Times newspaper reported that investigations were continuing into possible contact between Karim and the militants involved with the failed attempt to bring down a US aircraft over Detroit at Christmas.

The software developer has been remanded in custody, and the case is adjourned until 26 March at the Old Bailey.

BA refused to provide any comment.

The airline dramatically cut £24 million from its annual expenditure on IT suppliers, as it plunged to a record financial loss towards the end of last year.