UK holds Qaeda suspect linked to cargo plot

The man suspected of being behind the cargo plane bomb plot was arrested earlier this year.

Last Updated: Nov 03, 2010, 20:05 PM IST

London: A member of the al Qaeda-linked terror group suspected of being behind the recent cargo plane bomb plot was arrested in Britain earlier this year, the government said on Wednesday.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the suspect, whom she did not name, was arrested in February on suspicion of having planned an attack in Britain.

Security sources said the man referred to by May was believed to be a Bangladesh-born computer expert due to go on trial in London in January, according to the Press Association.

May said the suspect was a member of the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is believed to have been behind last week`s attempted plot.

Explosive devices hidden in printer cartridges were found on US-bound cargo planes at airports in Britain and Dubai Friday.

"An AQAP associate was arrested here earlier this year. He is alleged to have been planning a terrorist attack in this country. Threats such as these are likely to continue," May said in a major speech on anti-terrorism strategy in London.

Security sources in London said the man was believed to be Rajib Karim, a computer expert with British Airways, who was arrested February 25.

The 30-year-old is due to go on trial at Woolwich Crown Court in London in January, charged with plotting suicide bombings, including his own death.

Bangladesh-born Karim, from Newcastle, in northern England, is accused of being a one-man sleeper cell who infiltrated the airline as part of his plans.

Counter-terrorism police investigated suspected links between him and his home country, Pakistan and Yemen, the sources said.

IANS