Daniel Khalife
(MET POLICE)

Manhunt Launched for Former Soldier Suspected of Terror Offences Who Escaped Prison

A major manhunt is underway in London for Daniel Abed Khalife, a 21-year-old former soldier accused of terror offenses who escaped from HMP Wandsworth, a category B prison in south-west London, as reported by BBC News on Wednesday 6 September 2023.

Khalife, who was on remand awaiting trial, had been accused of leaving fake bombs at a military base and other related offenses.

The escape occurred at approximately 07:50 BST, and police believe that Khalife is “likely” still in London but may have traveled further.

He is described as 6ft 2ins tall and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white chequered trousers, and brown steel-toe cap boots. Authorities have urged the public not to approach Khalife but to call 999 immediately if they spot him.

Cdr Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, emphasized the urgency of the situation, saying, “We have a team of officers who are making extensive and urgent inquiries in order to locate and detain Khalife as quickly as possible.”

Khalife’s alleged offenses date back to February when he was accused of leaving fake devices at MOD Stafford “with the intention of inducing in another the belief the item was likely to explode or ignite.”

He was also accused of obtaining personal information about soldiers from the Ministry of Defence Joint Personnel Administration System, which was “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” in 2021.

The suspect had been based at MOD Stafford, also known as Beacon Barracks, at the time of the alleged offenses. After disappearing from the base on January 2, 2023, following the bomb hoax, Khalife was arrested weeks later on January 26.

He appeared in court multiple times, and he was being held on remand pending a trial scheduled to begin on November 13 at Woolwich Crown Court.

While prison escapes have been relatively rare in recent years, this incident has sparked concerns about security at HMP Wandsworth.

The last infamous escape involving terrorism inmates in the UK was the escape from Whitemoor prison in 1994 by IRA prisoners.

A January 2022 report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons highlighted a “serious security breach” that had led to an escape from HMP Wandsworth in 2019. The report acknowledged some improvements but noted ongoing concerns in the physical aspects of security.

Authorities are actively seeking information from the public to aid in Khalife’s capture and have assured the public that there is no information indicating he poses a threat to the wider public.

However, caution is advised, and anyone who spots Khalife is urged to call 999 immediately to ensure his safe and swift apprehension.

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