Daniel Khalife remains in police custody as manhunt for escaped prisoner ends

The terror suspect was apprehended by plain-clothed police while riding a bike along a canal on the hottest day of the year.

PA Reporters
Sunday 10 September 2023 02:32 BST
Plain-clothed officer pulled Daniel Khalife off bicycle during arrest, police say

Terror suspect Daniel Khalife remains in police custody after the 21-year-old was arrested in the London suburb of Northolt after four days on the run.

After a mass land and air search, the former soldier was captured at 10.41am on Saturday after being pulled off a push bike by a plain-clothed counter terrorism officer.

Metropolitan Police said Khalife, who escaped HMP Wandsworth four days ago, was arrested on suspicion of being unlawfully at large and being an escaped prisoner.

He was apprehended on a canal towpath in west London, around eight miles from where he was last seen by a member of the public, and is now in police custody, the force said.

Footage obtained by The Sun newspaper showed Khalife sat on the canal towpath after his arrest, with a bike, a Waitrose cool bag and a sleeping bag nearby.

Officers conducted an “intelligence-led search at a residential premises” in the Richmond area and, although Khalife was not found there, the force received a number of calls from the public with sightings of the suspect nearby.

The Met’s counter-terrorism boss Commander Dominic Murphy told reporters on Saturday: “In terms of the investigation, it really gathered momentum yesterday afternoon, with a number of calls from the public, but really took a different course last night, when we did an intelligence-led search in the Richmond area in the early hours of this morning.

“Whilst we didn’t find him at that search, while we were at that search, we had a number of calls from the public over the next hour or two, giving us various sightings of him.”

Mr Murphy said Khalife was “fully co-operative” as he was handcuffed, with some media reports claiming he was “laughing” as he was arrested.

He added police have not had a claim for the £20,000 reward yet.

Security sources reportedly told The Mail on Sunday that the wanted fugitive was apprehended after spies from the UK’s new intelligence nerve centre, made up of agents from MI5, MI6, and specialist police, bugged the phones of people they believed were linked to the escaped convict.

The paper also reported that two guards at Wandsworth Prison have been suspended following Khalife’s escape, with the Ministry of Justice declining to comment.

Detectives believe the former soldier escaped from HMP Wandsworth by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform.

It is unclear whether he will be returned to the category B prison or a higher-security location.

Khalife was awaiting trial after allegedly planting a fake bomb at an RAF base and gathering information that might be useful to terrorists or enemies of the UK.

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