A terror suspect who escaped from HMP Wandsworth by hiding under a delivery lorry has been apprehended by a police officer after a chase on a towpath. Daniel Abed Khalife, a former soldier, was arrested on Saturday in northwest London, around 12 miles from the prison. He was found with a bike, a sleeping bag, and a bag of food.
The search for Khalife began on Wednesday when Wandsworth prison alerted authorities that one of its inmates had escaped. Over the next three days, more than 150 Metropolitan Police officers received over 100 calls from the public and offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to Khalife’s capture.
The search intensified on Friday afternoon, with an intelligence-led search of a home in Richmond. Multiple reports from the public also came in about Khalife sightings in the Richmond and Chiswick areas of west London. Armed officers, police dogs, and helicopters were deployed in the search.
Khalife was eventually caught near Rowdell Road in Northolt. He was arrested by a plainclothes officer while riding a bike on a canal towpath. Police described him as cooperative upon arrest.
Counterterrorism boss Commander Dominic Murphy called the investigation “extremely complicated” and said it was a “real-life manhunt” for a resourceful escapee. The investigation is ongoing, and police will be looking for anyone who supported Khalife during his escape.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed satisfaction that Khalife had been arrested and commended the efforts of the police and the public. The Labour Party has called for answers regarding the escape of a prisoner charged with terrorism and national security offenses.
Khalife, a British citizen with Iranian heritage, is facing charges related to attempted terrorism and breaching the Official Secrets Act. It is unclear where he will be held following his capture.