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Mapped: The 75-hour hunt for escaped prisoner Daniel Khalife – arrested 45 minutes down the road

Former soldier arrested in Chiswick on Saturday morning, four days after fleeing Wandsworth Prison

Tara Cobham
Saturday 09 September 2023 18:14 BST
The escapee is believed to have initially fled Wandsworth prison taped to the bottom of a Bidfood truck
The escapee is believed to have initially fled Wandsworth prison taped to the bottom of a Bidfood truck (PA)

Escaped terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife has been found and arrested in west London following a 75-hour nationwide manhunt.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed the former soldier was arrested by officers in Chiswick just before 11am on Saturday, a mere 45-minute drive away from the prison he escaped from on Wednesday morning.

After prison staff alerted the force to the missing 21-year-old at 7.50am, a national search ensued over the next four days, which The Independent has shown on a map.

More than 150 Met officers and staff, as well as colleagues from forces across the country, worked “at pace around the clock” in pursuit of the terror suspect, receiving over 100 calls from members of the public.

Khalife is believed to have escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform.

A Bidfood van was stopped and searched by police just after 8.30am on the Upper Richmond Road in Putney. Officers discovered the strapping believed to have been used by Khalife in his escape on the bottom of the vehicle.

Richmond Park was scoured by police on Thursday night and into Friday, with helicopters seen circling overhead and sirens blaring in the area for hours.

Later on Friday, the Met confirmed a member of the public reported seeing Khalife walking away from a Bidfood van near Wandsworth Roundabout shortly after his escape from prison.

Khalife is believed to have escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform (Met Police)

Police helicopters spent Friday night circling around the Thames in west London, with flight radar maps revealing one flying over Chiswick House and Grove Park.

The force then said earlier on Saturday that it would be focusing its search in Chiswick on Saturday after confirmed sightings in the area overnight.

Shortly after 11am, the Met announced that Khalife had been arrested in Chiswick and is currently in police custody.

Intelligence sources told The Independent it is “almost certain” he had “inside help” with his escape.

Police commissioner Mark Rowley said it was “clearly pre-planned” – pointing to “the fact he could strap himself onto the bottom of the wagon”, referring to the delivery van Khalife used to flee.

With airports and ports installing additional security measures and holidaymakers reporting delays at border control, his escape has posed serious questions about the suitability of his incarceration at a Category B prison.

Prior to his arrest in January, the 21-year-old had formerly been a serving soldier in the British Army since 2018 and had worked as a computer network engineer with the Royal Corps of Signals.

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