Daniel Abed Khalife Escapes Wandsworth Prison
A UK-wide search is underway for Daniel Abed Khalife, a 21-year-old ex-military personnel, suspected of terrorism-related offenses, who broke out of HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday. Accused of planting hoax explosive devices at a military installation, Khalife is thought to have orchestrated his escape by hiding under a food delivery vehicle departing from the prison’s kitchen.
Increased security screenings at the nation’s airports and harbors have resulted in notable delays. Authorities are scrambling to understand how Khalife managed to break free from the category B prison in South West London. Initial conjectures suggest he commenced his escape around 07:50 BST while assigned to the prison kitchen.
Khalife, who stands at 6 feet 2 inches, was last spotted donning a prison-standard chef’s attire consisting of a white T-shirt, checkered red and white pants, and brown steel-toed boots. Despite being labeled a “low-risk” individual to public safety, citizens are advised not to engage him and to immediately call emergency services if sighted. Read what being a prisoner in wandsworth is really like from the prisoner diary THE SECRET PRISONER
Formerly enlisted in the Army in 2019, Khalife has known connections to the Kingston region of London and the North West. The manhunt has broadened nationally, with no significant leads as nighttime approaches.
Commander Dominic Murphy, the leader of Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit, confirmed that all national police forces and entry/exit points have been alerted. Extra screenings at critical transport nodes like Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airport, and the Port of Dover are causing delays, though these are expected to lessen by evening.
Questions are arising within governmental circles about the decision to hold Khalife in a lower-security prison like HMP Wandsworth instead of a maximum-security facility. An investigation has been ordered by Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, who has been in discussion with the Prison and Probation Service, as well as the governor of HMP Wandsworth, seeking assurances about the facility’s security protocols.
The issue of understaffing at the prison was raised by Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, citing that approximately one-third of the required shifts were not filled on a given day in December 2022.
Prisoner Escapes Wandsworth Prison - Daniel Abed Khalife Escapes Wandsworth Prison
Scheduled for trial on November 13 at Woolwich Crown Court, Khalife was held on remand and had been discharged from military service earlier this year, despite not having been convicted.
While prison breakouts have been uncommon in recent years, with only five recorded since 2017, Khalife’s escape brings renewed focus on prison security, particularly for inmates charged with terrorism offenses.