A British soldier awaiting trial on terror-related charges has escaped from a prison in southwest London, the country’s counterterror police said Wednesday.
Police said Daniel Abed Khalife, who has been accused of planting fake bombs at a military base and of violating Britain’s Official Secrets Act, went missing from Wandsworth prison early Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement Khalife escaped at 7:50 a.m. local time. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, red and white checkered trousers and brown steel- toe cap boots, police said.
Khalife, 21, has denied all the charges against him.
“We have a team of officers who are making extensive and urgent inquiries in order to locate and detain Khalife as quickly as possible,” said Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism command.
Murphy said there is no information to suggest that Khalife poses a threat to the wider public but urged anyone who may see him to not approach him.
No explanation of how Khalife escaped was provided.
Travelers are facing major delays and lines at Manchester, Glasgow and Heathrow Airports, as police and border force officers are checking the identification of passengers who have already gone through security, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The last infamous escape involving inmates accused of terrorism was when IRA prisoners broke out of Whitemoor prison in 1994, the BBC reported.
AJanuary 2022 report by HM Inspectorate of Prisonssaid a “serious security breach had led to an escape” from HMP Wandsworth in 2019, the BBC reported.