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Terror suspect clung to delivery van in audacious prison escape

A major manhunt is underway in Britain for a soldier-turned-terror suspect who made an audacious prison escape dressed as a chef.

Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, was awaiting trial for allegedly planting fake bombs at a military base.

His charges relate to terrorism and the Official Secrets Act.

In a rare occurrence in London prisons, Khalife escaped from Wandsworth jail shortly before 8am on Wednesday (local time).

The BBC reports it’s believed Khalife got out via a prison kitchen by brazenly strapping himself to the underside of a food delivery van that was leaving the complex.

Officials said he was dressed in a chef’s uniform – wearing a white T-shirt, red-and-white chequered trousers, and brown steel cap boots.

Police issued an urgent appeal and advised the public not to approach Khalife, who was in the British army.

A manhunt is underway across the entire country, and British ports and airports are on high alert in case he attempts to skip the country.

HMP Wandsworth prison in south-west London. Photo: Getty

The nationwide search led to delays of some flights and airport chaos as passengers underwent extra checks and waited in long queues.

“We are working really closely with border colleagues to try and understand any risk that might be posed by him leaving the country so at the moment you could describe this as a nationwide manhunt involving every force in the country that has information that might be of use to us,” Counter Terrorism Command chief Dominic Murphy said.

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

“I also want to reassure the public that we have no information which indicates, nor any reason to believe that Khalife poses a threat to the wider public.”

A prison wing at the Wandsworth facility. Photo: Getty

At a previous court appearance in February, Khalife, who was based at barracks in central England at the time of the alleged offences, was accused of eliciting or trying to elicit information “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.

He was also charged with making a bomb hoax by placing three canisters with wires on a desk “with the intention of inducing in another a belief that the said article was likely to explode or ignite”.

Topics: Britain
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