Terror suspect escapes prison


A former member of the British Army has escaped from Wandsworth prison while on remand facing trial for terror and Official Secrets Act offences.

The Metropolitan Police have issued an urgent appeal to trace Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, who is believed to have made his getaway on Wednesday morning.

He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white chequered trousers and brown steel toe cap boots and is described as being around 6ft 2ins tall, of slim build and with short brown hair.

Khalife, who was based at Beacon Barracks, Beaconside, Stafford, was on remand at the south London prison awaiting trial accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act by collecting information “useful to an enemy”.

Sky News understands lengthy queues and extra security at Gatwick Airport are the result of the prison escape, which is believed to have happened at around 7.50am.

He was originally charged with two offences on 27 January following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: “We have a team of officers who are making extensive and urgent enquiries in order to locate and detain Khalife as quickly as possible.

Daniel Abed Khalife escaped from Wandsworth prison
Daniel Abed Khalife escaped from Wandsworth prison

“However, the public can help us as well and should anyone see Khalife, or have any information as to where he might be, then please call 999 or the immediately.

“I also want to reassure the public that we have no information which indicates, nor any reason to believe that Khalife poses a threat to the wider public, but our advice if you do see him is not to approach him and call 999 straight away.”

If seen, the public are advised not to approach Khalife and to call 999 immediately, quoting reference CAD 1631/06SEP23.

Khalife appeared at the Old Bailey from Wandsworth jail in July to deny a charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act which alleges he committed “an act prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state”.

It states that between 1 May 2019 and 6 January 2022 he “obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated to any other person articles, notes, documents or information which were calculated to be or might be or were intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy”.

He also denied a charge under the Terrorism Act, which alleges he “elicited information about individuals who are members of His Majesty’s forces” on 2 August 2021.

The charge relates to him allegedly “obtaining personal information from the MoD Joint Personnel Administration system of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.

Khalife further pleaded not guilty to carrying out a bomb hoax on or before 2 January by placing “three cannisters with wires on a desk in his accommodation” with the intention of inducing in another a belief this was “likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property”.

He is due to face a six-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court from 13 November.