How Daniel Khalife became Britain’s most wanted man | UK news
Daniel Abed Khalife has been recaptured by police, just over three days after he escaped from HMP Wandsworth, strapped to the underside of a food delivery van.
It marks the end of the 21-year-old’s time on the run while on remand waiting for his court case to begin.
Here is how he went from being a British army soldier to becoming Britain’s most wanted man.
27 January 2023
Daniel Abed Khalife, a soldier in the Royal Signals and based at Beacon Barracks in Staffordshire, is charged with a terror offence and perpetrating a bomb hoax at RAF Stafford on or before 2 January.
Khalife was also accused of eliciting or attempting to elicit information “about an individual who was or had been a member of His Majesty’s forces which was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” on 2 August 2021.
He appears at Westminster magistrates court the following day and is remanded in custody.
Khalife is discharged from the British army.
21 July 2023
Khalife appears at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing. A third charge under the Official Secrets Act is added, which alleges 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”.
It is thought to relate to an accusation that he passed information to Iran.
He denies the three charges. A six-week trial is scheduled for 13 November at Woolwich crown court in south-east London.
6 September 2023
Khalife goes missing from HMP Wandsworth and is thought to have strapped himself to the underside of a Bidfood delivery vehicle. He was working in the kitchens at the prison in south-west London, and is believed to have escaped still wearing the uniform of white T-shirt and red and white gingham trousers.
Prison staff declare Khalife missing.
The Metropolitan police are called by prison staff at HMP Wandsworth and told that Khalife has gone missing.
The Bidfood lorry that Khalife escaped in is stopped in Upper Richmond Road near the junction with Carlton Drive in Putney. Footage later showed that Khalife had walked away from the lorry at the junction with Wandsworth roundabout, a mile from the prison.
Scotland Yard announces to the public that it is urgently looking for Khalife and that he had escaped from prison that morning.
The search for Khalife enters its second day. The justice secretary, Alex Chalk, confirms that there will be an independent investigation.
He also says urgent reviews will be launched into the categorisation and placement of all HMP Wandsworth prisons.
A man is stopped by police at Banbury train station in Oxfordshire, believed to be Khalife, but it is not him. Junctions of the M20 are shut down as part of the search. The number of port staff at Dover searching and checking vehicles is doubled.
Detectives close off access to the 2,500-acre Richmond Park to search for Khalife. The park is just over four miles from HMP Wandsworth. Specialist teams use thermal scanners as part of the hunt.
He is thought to know the area after growing up in Kingston, south-west London.
The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, says the force is looking into whether the escape was an inside job.
There is a sighting of Khalife in Wandsworth town centre, and the force offers a £20,000 reward for information.
Meanwhile, a close family member tells the Times that Khalife should give himself up.
Police begin focusing their search around the Chiswick area, less than five miles from HMP Wandsworth, in west London across the River Thames.
A spokesperson says detectives believe that Khalife has changed out of his uniform and is now wearing dark clothes.
They say members of the public have reported sightings of him.
The Metropolitan police apprehend Khalife in Chiswick and take him in to police custody.
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