10 September 2023

Terror suspect Daniel Khalife charged with escaping from Wandsworth Prison

10 September 2023

Daniel Khalife has been charged with escaping from custody at HMP Wandsworth, the Metropolitan Police have said.

The former soldier was arrested on a canal towpath in west London at 10.41am on Saturday after being pulled off a push bike by a plain-clothes counter-terrorism officer.

His capture followed a mass land and air search over four days after he went missing from the prison on Wednesday.

The Met said a member of the public reported seeing a man matching Khalife’s description walking away from a Bidfood van that had stopped near the south entrance to Wandsworth Roundabout on Wednesday morning.

Officers then carried out a search in the Richmond area and, although Khalife was not found there, the force received a number of calls from the public with sightings of the suspect nearby.

Police were seen checking people’s gardens, stopping cars, inspecting car boots, and asking residents for their IDs throughout Saturday morning.

Khalife was eventually found on a canal towpath in Northolt, west London, around eight miles from where he was last seen by a member of the public.

Prior to his alleged escape, Khalife was on remand at HMP Wandsworth after being charged with terror offences in January.

The 21-year-old will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

In a statement, the Met said: “Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday September 11 charged as follows: On the 6th day of September 2023, then being a prisoner in His Majesty’s Prison at Wandsworth, being remanded in custody pending trial as ordered at the Central Criminal Court on the 21st day of July 2023, escaped, contrary to common law.”

Questions have been raised over the security of the prison following the police manhunt.

On Sunday, the Justice Secretary said around 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the Category B jail.

Alex Chalk told Sky’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme that a preliminary investigation into London’s Victorian prison had found that the relevant procedures and security staff were in place.

But he said dozens of individuals on remand have been moved to different sites “out of an abundance of caution” amid questions over why a former soldier accused of a terror offence was not in the highest security prison.

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