Terror suspect ‘who escaped prison using bedsheets found with bag of cash and Waitrose shopping’

Ex-soldier Daniel Khalife was pushed off bicycle by undercover officer as he rode along canal towpath in Northolt, west London on Saturday

Barney Davis
Monday 11 September 2023 19:23 BST
Van believed to hold Daniel Abed Khalife arrives at court after arrest

A suspected terrorist accused of escaping prison by using bedsheets to strap himself to the underside of a lorry was found with a bag of cash and shopping from Waitrose, a court heard.

Former soldier Daniel Khalife, 21, was pushed off his bicycle by an undercover anti-terror officer as he rode along a canal towpath in Northolt, west London at 10.41am on Saturday.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard he was captured just over an hour cycle away from Wandsworth Prison carrying a sleeping bag and a Waitrose bag filled with food and drink as the nationwide manhunt went into its third day.

Daniel Khalife has been charged with escaping from custody at Wandsworth Prison
Daniel Khalife has been charged with escaping from custody at Wandsworth Prison (PA Media)

Prior to his alleged escape, Khalife had been on remand at Wandsworth Prison after being charged with terror offences in January.

Before a short hearing on Monday, he appeared in the dock flanked by two police officers and a dock officer.

Khalife entered the courtroom wearing a grey jumper and jogging bottoms and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Detailing the allegation against the defendant, prosecutor Thomas Williams said the former soldier is alleged to have escaped on the underside of a food delivery vehicle.

Mr Williams said Khalife is accused of strapping himself to the lorry using “material which may have been from bedsheets with clips at each end”.

Khalife appeared in court today in a grey jumper
Khalife appeared in court today in a grey jumper (PA)

Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram was told the material was found underneath the vehicle by police, with clips at each end and marks that were consistent with someone having been there.

The court also heard that, when Khalife was arrested, he had a bag containing cash and a mobile phone with him.

Police checked gardens, stopped and inspected cars, and asked residents for their IDs throughout Saturday morning following the alleged escape.

On Sunday Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, said around 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the Category B jail.

Mr Ikram told the defendant he will next appear at the Old Bailey on 29 September.

He was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, charged with escaping custody at HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday.

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