September 23, 2023

By Brian Melley | Related Press

LONDON — A former British soldier dealing with terrorism fees who snuck out of a London jail on a meals supply truck was captured Saturday, police mentioned.

Daniel Abed Khalife was nabbed whereas driving a bicycle alongside a canal path west of London after a four-day manhunt.

Khalife escaped from the Wandsworth Jail kitchen Wednesday and bought exterior the gates by strapping himself to the underside of a catering truck.

Khalife, 21, was awaiting trial on fees of violating Britain’s Official Secrets and techniques Act by gathering info “that may very well be helpful to an enemy” and planting pretend bombs at a navy base. He was discharged from the British military after his arrest earlier this yr and denied the allegations. His trial is about for November.

The breakout ignited a storm of criticism as political opponents linked the escape to years of economic austerity by the UK’s governing Conservative Occasion. The federal government mentioned an impartial investigation would decide how Khalife escaped the medium-security jail that opened in 1851 through the reign of Queen Victoria.

“We’d like solutions about how on earth a prisoner charged with terror & nationwide safety offences might have escaped on this manner,” Yvette Cooper, a member of the Labour Occasion within the Home of Commons, wrote on social media Saturday.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked the police and public and mentioned the inquiry would unravel how Khalife bought away.

The escape prompted additional safety checks at main transport hubs, notably in and across the Port of Dover, the principle boat crossing from England to France, and led to the shutdown of a serious freeway at one level.

London counter-terror police had supplied a 20,000 pound ($25,000) reward for info resulting in his arrest. It was not instantly clear if anybody was in line for the reward.

Police on Friday had introduced a breakthrough within the search after a witness reported seeing Khalife at a busy intersection close to the jail shortly after the escape.

Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism commander Dominic Murphy wouldn’t say if the sighting was confirmed by surveillance cameras, however London has one of the crucial strong safety digicam networks on the planet and any footage might have helped monitor his whereabouts.

“When it comes to the investigation, it actually gathered momentum yesterday afternoon, with quite a few calls from the general public, however actually took a special course final night time, after we did an intelligence-led search within the Richmond space within the early hours of this morning,” Murphy mentioned. “While we didn’t discover him at that search, whereas we have been at that search, we had quite a few calls from the general public over the subsequent hour or two, giving us numerous sightings of him.”

Police had acquired experiences he was seen within the Chiswick space of west London and so they descended there on Saturday morning, with police automobiles and vans swarming the realm and helicopters hovering overhead.

Paul Wade mentioned he opened his curtains to seek out 5 law enforcement officials exterior his residence.

“They mentioned ‘I count on you recognize why we’re right here,’” he mentioned. “They have been checking all people’s gardens.”

However Khalife was nowhere close to there when a plainclothes officer finally made the collar within the late morning, Murphy mentioned.