MSNBC is reporting that a U.K. jury convicted a former British Airways computer specialist of plotting with U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to blow up an airplane in an attack intended to kill hundreds of people. Rajib Karim, a 31-year-old Bangladeshi man, was found guilty Monday of four counts of engaging in preparation for terrorist attacks. He had already pleaded guilty to five other terrorism offenses but denied plotting an attack in Britain.
A jury deliberated for 16 hours before agreeing with prosecutors who said that Karim used his position at the airline to conspire with al-Awlaki, a notorious radical preacher associated with al-Qaida and thought to be hiding in Yemen. At one point, Karim attempted to enroll as a flight attendant. Counterterrorism agents say that would more than likely have had dire consequences for passengers. He spent years representing himself as a mild-mannered, respectful and educated man in order to pull off the plot.
Can you say close call? We're glad Karim's plot didn't work, but it highlights the need for improved security measures. We're less interested in what will happen to him post-conviction and more interested in how authorities plan to stop future "mild-mannered, respectful and educated" terrorists from infiltrating airlines.
Read more at MSNBC.
In other news: The Root Recommends Marsha Ambrosius.