Daniel Khalife: terror suspect revealed to have links to North West as search continues
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The 21-year-old, who was an inmate at HMP Wandsworth in London, is accused of trying to spy for an enemy state, understood to be Iran, and plotting a fake bomb hoax.
Mr Khalife was reported missing from the prison at 8:15 am on Wednesday, September 6, having escaped by clinging on to the underside of a lorry when he was on duty in the kitchen.
Some 150 Met Counter Terrorism Command officers have been deployed in the search since he was declared missing but this morning (Thursday, September 8), it has been confirmed that there have still been no sightings.
Mr Khalife is thought to have links with Kingston upon Thames in south-west London, and whilst the search is focused on London, police also add that he has links to the north-west of England.
The lorry carrying the former soldier left HMP Wandsworth at 7:32 am and headed west, but the alarm was not raised by prison staff for a further 20 minutes and police were not called in for another 25 minutes after that.
The vehicle was stopped in nearby North Sheen in south-west London less than an hour after he was declared missing, and officers found the strapping he used to secure himself hanging from its underside.
Catering firm Bidfood confirmed one of their delivery vehicles was involved and said their driver had "fully co-operated with the police".
Although Mr Khalife’s links to London and the North West have been made known, Cdr Dominic Murphy, head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, has said it was also "absolutely possible" he might have already left the country.
Security at ports and airports has therefore been tightened up and down the country, including here in the North West.
Cdr Murphy added that it was a "little unusual and perhaps a testament to [Mr Khalife's] ingenuity" that he had not been spotted, despite 50 calls from the public offering "valuable lines of inquiry".
As a trained soldier "he has skills that perhaps some sections of the public don't have", he elaborated.