Ex-British Soldier Facing Terror Charges Escapes London Prison


A former British Army soldier facing terrorism-related charges escaped from a London-based prison earlier on Wednesday, according to police, which have requested the public’s aid in a nationwide manhunt that’s caused airport delays.

Key Facts

Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, escaped from HMP Wandsworth—a prison located in southwest London—just before 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday, according to Metropolitan Police.

Police said Khalife—who was awaiting trial for terrorism-related charges and violations of the Official Secrets Act—was likely still in London and had “links” to the Kingston upon Thames area, though it was possible he may have “traveled further afield.”

It is theorized that Khalife escaped the prison by strapping himself to the bottom of a food delivery van, according to the BBC.

Khalife is 6-foot-2 and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white checkered pants and brown steel-toe cap boots.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism unit, noted there is “no information which indicates, nor any reason to believe” Khalife poses a threat to the public.

Crucial Quote

“We have a team of officers who are making extensive and urgent enquiries in order to locate and detain Khalife as quickly as possible,” Murphy said.


Manchester Airport faced delays of up to 30 minutes on Wednesday afternoon, after the airport introduced extra security checks, according to CNN. The Port of Dover said it was experiencing “some delays,” following a “police matter” that required the port to impose “enhanced checks on outbound traffic.” London’s Heathrow Airport—noting it was “operating as normal”—said it had also imposed additional security checks and cautioned departing passengers to arrive earlier for their flights.

Surprising Fact

There have only been five prison escapes across the U.K. since 2017 and fewer than 20 since 2010, according to the BBC.

Key Background

Khalife was arrested earlier this year, after prosecutors said he left fake explosive devices at a Stafford-based military base in January “with the intention of inducing in another the belief the item was likely to explode or ignite,” according to the New York Times. Khalife also allegedly “elicited” personal information about other British Army soldiers from the Ministry of Defense’s administrative system. Prosecutors said this was “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.” Khalife—who was discharged from the Army on May 22—was being held at the Wandsworth prison before his trial was scheduled to begin on November 13.

Further Reading

U.K. Police Hunt Terror Suspect Who Escaped London Prison (New York Times)

Hunt For Terror Suspect Ex-Soldier Daniel Khalife After Wandsworth Prison Escape (BBC)

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