A jury at Woolwich crown court also found Karim, 31, guilty of three additional counts of preparing for terrorist attacks, including conspiring with on-the-run radical cleric Awlaki. Karim plotted to blow up an aircraft, shared information of use to Awlaki, offered to help financial or disruptive attacks on BA and gained a UK job to exploit terrorist purposes, the jurors ruled.
Police took months to break encrypted messages on his computer. They found he had been in direct contact with Awlaki, who is accused of having links to the attempted bombing of a plane over Detroit during Christmas in 2009 and an attempt last year to explode ink printer bombs on freight planes heading to the US.
Karim, who worked for BA in Newcastle, studied electronics at Manchester University from 1998 to 2002 where he gained a 2.2. He then went back to his native Bangladesh, where he supported an extremist organisation.
He returned to the UK in 2006, purportedly to seek medical treatment for his young son, who was wrongly thought to have cancer. But police believe Karim had committed himself to violent jihad and sought a job where he could best help the terrorist cause.
In September 2007 he became a graduate IT trainee with BA Police described the computer encryption Karim used as the most sophisticated they had seen in a British terrorist case. It took nine months to crack the secrets of his home computer, with one detective comparing the encryption to "Russian dolls", where one layer was cracked only to reveal another.
The trial at Woolwich crown court, south-east London, heard Awlaki had written an email to Karim asking: "Is it possible to get a package or person with a package on board a flight heading to the US?"
Police believe Karim was offering to supply information to terrorists that could be used to stage an attack. He also tried to join BA cabin crew during a strike but failed because of a technicality.
Karim shared details of his BA contacts in encrypted emails, claiming to know of a sympathetic security guard and baggage handler.
Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said of Karim: "He is ... an Islamic extremist, with close association to, if not membership of Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, an organisation committed to the establishment of Islamic rule in Bangladesh, responsible for terrorist attacks in Bangladesh, and with links to al-Qaida. The defendant ... believes terrorism, including murder of civilians, is permissible to establish, as he views it, a true Islamic state. [He] was anxious himself to carry out such an attack and determined to seek martyrdom."
Karim had denied plotting to blow up a plane and gaining a job in the UK for terrorist purposes, but pleaded guilty to fundraising for terrorist organisations.
He may have been planning to crash BA's sophisticated computer systems causing chaos and huge financial losses, the court heard.
In one email Karim wrote: "'From the moment I entered this country my niyah [purpose] was to do something for the deen [faith], it was not to make a living here and start enjoying life."
In February last year Awlaki wrote to Karim: "Our highest priority is the US. Anything there, even on a smaller scale compared to what we may do in the UK would be our choice. So the question is with the people you have is it possible to get a package or a person with a package on board a flight heading to the US?"
A few days later Karim replied: "I do not know much about US I can work with the bros to find out the possibilities of shipping a package to a US-bound plane."
The case highlighted the power of Awlaki to recruit people for jihad via the internet.
Roshonara Choudhry, a student from London, was convicted last year of trying to murder the Labour MP Stephen Timms after watching Awlaki's sermons online, including on sites such as YouTube.