Owen Bowcott
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 March 2010 18.36 GMT

A British Airways computer expert who allegedly offered to cover for cabin crew in the event of a strike appeared in court today charged with plotting suicide bombings.

Rajib Karim, who was born in Bangladesh but now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, faced three charges under counter-terrorism legislation.

The 30-year-old is accused of planning his own martyrdom. One of the charges involves the UK and another alleges that he conspired with contacts in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen.

The prosecutor, Colin Gibbs, told City of Westminster magistrates court that the charge sheet alleged Karim 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.

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

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