The search for Britain’s most wanted runaway prisoner, Daniel Khalife, has taken a new turn as police confirm fresh sightings of him in the leafy London borough of Chiswick. Khalife, a former British Army soldier, made a daring escape from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday. The latest developments suggest that Khalife has altered his appearance, wearing a black baseball cap, a t-shirt, and dark-colored bottoms.
Police Response and Witness Reports The Metropolitan Police, responding to multiple witness sightings and public calls, have expanded their search to west London, focusing on Chiswick. Authorities have been actively involved in stopping cars and requesting identification from residents as part of their intensified search efforts. This operation involves dog units, armed officers, and even a police boat on standby for support.
Appeal to the Public and Reward The police have urged the public to remain vigilant in the Chiswick area and have requested immediate reporting of any sightings or information regarding Khalife. While they advise against approaching him, they maintain that he does not currently pose a threat to the general public. In a bid to assist in his capture, a reward of up to £20,000 has been offered for information leading to his arrest.
Escape and Allegations Khalife, aged 21, had been held at Wandsworth Prison on remand, facing allegations of spying for Iran and suspected involvement in terror offenses. His escape strategy involved hiding beneath a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform. Security footage captures the van after it left the prison, but investigators believe Khalife had already escaped before this footage was recorded.
Intensive Search and Public Cooperation The search operation, led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, involves over 150 officers and staff working tirelessly to locate Khalife. Police helicopters were observed in areas including Grove Park, Chiswick, and Richmond Park. A sighting near Wandsworth Roundabout is considered crucial in the investigation’s progress.
Additional Sightings and CCTV Evidence A shop assistant came forward with information suggesting he saw Khalife entering a black-colored vehicle outside Wandsworth County Court. This sighting, reported by an eyewitness working at a newsagents, described a tall individual with dark hair. However, police have not officially confirmed whether this sighting is significant to their investigation.
Appeal for Visual Evidence The Met Police have initiated the UK Image Appeal website, allowing the public to directly submit relevant imagery and video to aid the investigation. This may include CCTV footage, doorbell camera recordings, mobile phone videos, or dash-cam footage.
Police Statements and Vigilance Commander Dominic Murphy, leading the Counter Terrorism Command, emphasized the dynamic nature of the investigation and urged the public to cooperate. While the police maintain that Khalife does not pose an immediate threat, they continue to focus on locating him. They are collaborating with police services nationwide and other partners to ensure his return to custody.
Security Concerns and Border Checks Questions have arisen regarding Khalife’s escape from Wandsworth Prison and whether it was facilitated by inadequate staffing and security measures. The incident has led to tightened security checks at ports and borders, although authorities have assessed that Khalife does not currently pose a broader threat.
Prison Conditions and Investigations Concerns have been raised about conditions at Wandsworth Prison, including overcrowding and a lack of investment. Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor expressed that staff shortages at the prison were a source of many problems. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also raised questions about the link between government austerity and the escape.
Higher Security Placement A barrister and former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Jonathan Hall KC, highlighted the seriousness of Khalife’s charges and suggested that someone charged with espionage should be held in a higher security prison. He cautioned against categorizing all terrorism suspects as high escape risks, emphasizing the need for tailored assessments.
Continued Investigation The investigation into Khalife’s escape continues to evolve, with the focus on his whereabouts and the circumstances surrounding his getaway. Police remain vigilant in their efforts to locate and apprehend him, while the public’s cooperation is crucial to the operation’s success.Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media