A devout Muslim accused of conspiring to blow up a plane while working for British Airways said he believed he was “living in sin” by taking his family to the UK.
But Bangladeshi Rajib Karim, 31, told a court he “never” planned a terrorist attack in Britain while working as a computer expert for the airline.
He said he sent messages to his brother in code because of fears over torture in Bangladesh.
The prosecution alleges he was communicating with a terror cell in secret email exchanges and sharing details of his BA contacts from his home in Brunton Lane, Newcastle.
Giving evidence at Woolwich Crown Court in London, Karim said he sent encrypted messages to his younger brother because of concerns for relatives’ safety.
“The regime in Bangladesh is very brutal,” he told a jury.
Karim was helping make a video about an organisation called Jamaat-Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) because they were being “misrepresented”, he said. He wrote to his brother because any links to groups such as JMB “may link to torture”.
“That was the main reason for the encrypted information,” he added.
Karim is accused of plotting to blow up a plane, sharing information of use to hate groups such as al Qaida, offering to help financial or disruptive attacks on BA and gaining a UK job to “exploit terrorist purposes”, which he denies.
Karim has already pleaded guilty to three terror charges. He has admitted being involved in the production of a terrorist group’s video, fundraising and volunteering for terror abroad.