In a stunning turn of events, escaped terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife was captured after a nationwide manhunt that lasted for 75 hours. The former soldier had managed to evade authorities for days, but he was finally apprehended by a plainclothes counter-terrorism officer on a canal towpath in West London. This article delves into the dramatic events leading to Khalife’s capture, the circumstances of his escape, and the reactions that followed.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed Khalife’s arrest on Rowdell Road in West London, just before 11 am on a Saturday morning. The plainclothes officer spotted him, “pulled off a bike,” and promptly handcuffed him. Commander Dominic Murphy, the Met’s counter-terrorism chief, held a press conference to provide details of the arrest. The arrest occurred in the Northolt area near Chiswick.
This arrest came after the manhunt had gained significant momentum on Friday afternoon. There were multiple reports of confirmed sightings, which led to an overnight search of a home in the borough of Richmond. Commander Murphy emphasized that there have been no further arrests as of now but warned, “Anyone who supported Khalife before, during, or after – I can tell you we will be looking for those individuals.”
Khalife’s escape from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning was nothing short of daring. He is believed to have escaped by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen dressed in a cook’s uniform. Commander Dominic Murphy stated that Khalife was held on suspicion of being unlawfully at large and being an escaped prisoner.
The escape plan was audacious. He was actually arrested by a plainclothes officer while riding a pedal cycle, a pushbike, at the time. The officer pulled him off the bike and arrested him at that location. Surprisingly, Khalife was fully cooperative upon being detained and was promptly handcuffed.
Khalife’s escape from Wandsworth Prison sent shockwaves through the security apparatus. It led to a sprawling search that had significant consequences. Flights were delayed, and there were heightened security checks at British ports as authorities scrambled to locate the escapee.
Khalife was in prison awaiting trial on terror charges related to allegedly planting fake bombs at a military base. He had denied all three charges against him. His escape, however, exposed significant flaws in the prison system and government security measures. An independent investigation has been launched to probe the incident.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his gratitude to the police and the British public following Khalife’s capture. He thanked the police officers for their “fantastic work” and the public for their assistance in providing numerous leads that aided the police in their inquiries. Speaking from the G20 summit in New Delhi, Sunak also stated that the government would continue its ongoing inquiry into how Khalife managed to escape. He emphasized that Khalife’s arrest was welcome news.
In conclusion, the dramatic capture of Daniel Khalife brings an end to a nationwide manhunt that had the nation on edge for 75 hours. Khalife’s audacious escape and subsequent capture have highlighted the need for a thorough examination of prison security protocols. As the investigation into the incident unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by individuals involved in terror-related activities.