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Daniel Abed Khalife: What we know about escaped prisoner as police hunt terror suspect

A nationwide hunt is under way for a former soldier in the British Army accused of terrorism who has escaped from a prison in southwest London.

Daniel Abed Khalife was being held at HMP Wandsworth awaiting trial.

So what happened?

Khalife went missing in his cook's uniform shortly before 8am on Wednesday while working at the kitchen of the category B jail - the second highest level of security.

He is believed to have escaped by clinging on to a food delivery van, using straps and holding on to the bottom of the vehicle.

The jail was put on lockdown after he fled.

Latest updates on manhunt

The search

Police have issued an urgent appeal to the public to help trace the 21-year-old man.

Khalife's escape sparked a major hunt with ports and airports placed on alert.

Also, some passengers were told they could face delays as extra checks were carried out, including at Gatwick and Manchester airports and at the Port of Dover.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told Sky News: "An alert was issued by the Counter Terrorism Command earlier today in relation to Khalife through established operational briefing channels to relevant UK police and law enforcement agencies, including those at UK ports and borders."

Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command Commander Dominic Murphy, said a team of officers are making "extensive and urgent inquiries" to find Khalife.

He also appealed for the public's help, urging anyone who has seen him to call 999 but not approach him.

Mr Murphy said there were no indications Khalife poses a threat to the wider public, "but our advice if you do see him is not to approach him and call 999 straight away".

What is Khalife accused of?

He was charged on 27 January 2023 following an investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

The ex-serviceman was awaiting trial for allegedly eliciting information about members of the armed forces useful for terrorism under section 58 of the Terrorism Act.

He was said to have obtained personal information from the Ministry Of Defence joint personnel administration system on 2 August 2021.

Khalife, a former member of the Royal Signals who was based at Beacon Barracks, Beaconside, Stafford, is also charged with perpetrating a bomb hoax.

He allegedly placed three canisters with wires on a desk in his accommodation on 2 January this year with the intention of inducing in another a belief this was "likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property".

A further charge, under the Official Secrets Act, alleges he committed "an act prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state" between 1 May 2019 and 6 January 2022.

Khalife allegedly "obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated to another 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".

He appeared at the Old Bailey in late July where he denied the charges he is facing.

His trial is due at Woolwich Crown Court on 20 November.

His description

He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white chequered trousers, and brown steel-toe-cap boots.

Khalife is described as slim and 6ft 2in tall, with short brown hair.

He has links to northwest England and Kingston in London, but Mr Murphy said the hunt is covering the whole of the UK.