An Islamist who worked as a British Airways computer expert was found guilty on Monday of plotting with a radical cleric to blow up a plane bound for the United States.

Rajib Karim, 31, used his position to plot an attack with Anwar al-Awlaki, a militant known to be associated with al Qaeda, London's Woolwich Crown Court heard. The jury found him guilty of four counts of engaging in preparation for terrorist attacks.

Karim plotted to blow up an aircraft in a spectacular attack, shared information of use to al-Awlaki -- one of the world's most wanted men -- offered to help financial or disruptive attacks on BA and gained a British job to exploit terrorist purposes, the jurors ruled.

Lawyer for the prosecution Colin Gibbs described Karim's deep determination to plan an attack as frightening, the Press Association reported.

The most chilling element of this case is probably the fact that Karim tried to enrol as cabin crew and anyone can imagine how horrific the consequences of this could have been, had he succeeded, Gibbs said.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: The fact that Karim has been found guilty of such a heinous plot shows why we will never be complacent.

I want to thank the police and the security service for their hard work in this complex case. We know that we face a serious threat from terrorism and national security remains this government's top priority.

Karim is due to be sentenced on March 18.

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; editing by Keith Weir)