Sorting by


Why was Daniel Khalife at Wandsworth prison? What we know about the charges against him after he escapes jail

A terror suspect who escaped from Wandsworth Prison in London on Wednesday morning remains on the run.

Daniel Abed Khalife’s escape has triggered a nationwide manhunt. He is reported to have escaped from the prison kitchen in his cook’s uniform by clinging to the underside of a delivery van.

The Times reported there was a delay of around an hour between prison officials noticing he was missing and contacting the police.

The police search for the 21-year-old former British Army soldier, who who had been based at Beacon Barracks in Beaconside, involves both UK and international security services due to the “level of danger he represents”, a senior security source told i.

What is Daniel Khalife accused of?

Khalife was on remand in Wandsworth prison awaiting trial in relation to terrorism and Official Secrets Act offences, including preparing an act of terrorism and collecting information useful to an enemy. He was discharged from the Army in May of this year.

At a court appearance at the Old Bailey in July, Khalife denied all the charges against him.

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

Khalife is also accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act by acting against the “safety and interests of the state” and allegedly collecting information which would be “useful to the enemy”.

The court heard he also allegedly left fake explosive devices at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) base in Stafford in the hope of “inducing in another the belief the item was likely to explode or ignite”.

An insider at MI5, the UK’s domestic intelligence agency, told i that Khalife is alleged to have been passing secrets to a hostile state and acting on the orders of an enemy to the UK, adding that he may have been groomed by a “foreign state” while he served in the Army.

They said the most serious offences Khalife is accused of were related to his work for a hostile state rather than any immediate physical threat he posed to the public.

The source wouldn’t name the state in question, citing national security, but a report in the Daily Mail said Mr Khalife has been accused of spying for Iran.

What is being done to find him?

Security services are monitoring Khalife’s bank accounts, any known phones, family, friends and key contacts.

Police will also interview his known prison contacts, both still serving sentences and those released.

GCHQ is monitoring international email traffic for keywords that could relate to Khalife’s plans or whereabouts.

Kent Police confirmed junctions eight and nine of the M20 were temporarily shut on Thursday due to the enhanced security checks – and to allow freight heading for mainland Europe to queue on the empty section of the motorway.

Police say Khalife has links to the Kingston area in south-west London and north-west England. They believe he is likely to be in the London area currently, but may have travelled elsewhere.

There are fears Khalife may try to flee the country. Border Force has increased checks at airports and ports, and British Transport Police has cancelled leave for officers as the search for the fugitive at train stations and other transport hubs intensifies.

It is understood that marinas across the country have been instructed to watch for any suspicious activity in the event that Khalife attempts to leave the UK on a private boat.

Khalife was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white chequered trousers and brown, steel toe-cap boots, the Metropolitan Police said, and is slim and 6ft 2in, with short brown hair.

Ian Acheson, a former head of security at HMP Wandsworth who has advised the Government on counter-terrorism in prison told Sky News: “There must have been multiple and fairly catastrophic security failures in order for all of those processes to be defeated by this man who somehow, we believe, smuggled themselves, out of the prison.

“I think that says something quite alarming and I’m afraid is all too typical of the state of our prison system at the moment.”

The head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, Commander Dominic Murphy, said there was “no reason to believe Khalife poses a threat to the wider public” but urged people not to approach him and to call 999 if they spot him.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button