Man Accused of Terrorism Offenses Escapes from HMP Wandsworth, Prompting Nationwide Manhunt

A man, Daniel Abed Khalife, who was awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges, managed to escape from HMP Wandsworth, triggering a nationwide manhunt.

Khalife, a 21-year-old former British Army soldier, was on remand at the Category B prison, facing charges related to terrorism and violations of the Official Secrets Act.

His escape has raised significant security concerns and resulted in disruptions at ports and airports across the UK.

The Escape

Daniel Abed Khalife’s escape from HMP Wandsworth was a daring act that occurred on a Wednesday morning.

He was reportedly working in the prison kitchens, disguised in a chef’s uniform.

Khalife managed to evade security by attaching himself to the underside of a food delivery van, making a successful getaway.

Security Alert and Travel Delays

In the aftermath of Khalife’s escape, authorities launched a massive manhunt, placing ports and airports on high alert.

This heightened security resulted in widespread delays at transportation hubs throughout the UK, including Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airport, and the Port of Dover.

Description and Potential Location

Khalife is described as a slim, 6ft 2ins tall individual with short brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, red and white chequered trousers, and brown steel toe cap boots.

While authorities believe he is likely still in the London area, there is also the possibility that he may have traveled elsewhere.

Legal Background

Khalife’s legal troubles stem from his alleged involvement in accessing soldier details from Ministry of Defence personnel files, information that could have been useful for acts of terrorism.

During a hearing at the Old Bailey in July, he faced charges related to the Official Secrets Act, including eliciting information about members of the Armed Forces and perpetrating a bomb hoax.

He was on remand at HMP Wandsworth during this time.

Public Assistance and Police Response

Law enforcement is urging the public to provide any information that might aid in locating Khalife, even if it doesn’t pertain to a recent sighting.

They have issued a directive not to approach him and to immediately contact emergency services by dialing 999 if he is spotted.

Government and Prison Service Response

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk expressed deep concern and held an “urgent call” with the prison governor and senior prison service officials to assess prison security.

HMP Wandsworth, a Category B prison with the second-highest security level, was placed on lockdown following Khalife’s escape.

The Prison Service is actively collaborating with the Metropolitan Police to recapture the escaped prisoner and investigate the circumstances of his escape.

Impact on Court Hearings

The escape from HMP Wandsworth had broader ramifications, causing disruptions in court hearings for other defendants who were on remand at the prison, highlighting the cascading consequences of such incidents.

Background and Trial Date

Khalife’s association with the British Army ended when he was discharged on May 22, 2023, as a result of his pending charges.

A trial date for Khalife had previously been scheduled for November 13 at Woolwich Crown Court.

Commentary

The escape of a terrorism suspect from a Category B prison like HMP Wandsworth raises serious concerns about prison security and the potential risks posed by such individuals.

The extensive manhunt, security alerts at ports and airports, and disruptions to court hearings underscore the far-reaching impact of this incident.

It also emphasizes the necessity of a swift and effective response by law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety and the apprehension of the escaped prisoner.

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