Following his escape from Wandsworth Prison, terror suspect ex-soldier Daniel Khalife is being sought


A manhunt has been launched for Daniel Abed Khalife, a former soldier suspected of terror offences who escaped from prison on Wednesday morning. Khalife was awaiting trial at HMP Wandsworth after being accused of leaving fake bombs at a military base. It is believed that he escaped via a prison kitchen by strapping himself to the bottom of a food delivery van.

A working theory is that Khalife had been in the kitchen when he began his escape from HMP Wandsworth, a category B prison in south-west London. Police believe Khalife poses a "low risk" to the public but people are being urged not to approach him and to call 999 instead.

The search has been expanded across the country, with all police forces and UK border points put on notice. Airports and ports have been asked to carry out additional security measures, resulting in delays being reported across the UK, including at Heathrow airport, Manchester airport, and the Port of Dover.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk held an "urgent call" with the prison governor and other senior prison service officials to seek reassurances about security at the prison. Mr Khalife was on remand awaiting trial in relation to terrorism and Official Secrets Act offences. He was allegedly working for a hostile state.

Prison escapes have been rare in recent years, with just five since 2017 and fewer than 20 since 2010. The last infamous escape involving terrorism inmates was the escape from Whitemoor prison in 1994 by IRA prisoners.

A January 2022 report by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons said a "serious security breach had led to an escape" from HMP Wandsworth in 2019. The inspectorate had been given "some assurance that action to prevent further escapes had been taken" but "current local security data evidenced some concerns in the physical aspects of security". The prison was placed on lockdown in the hours following Mr Khalife's escape but restrictions have now been lifted.


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