Witness Reports Seeing Escaped UK Suspect

Police search London park after report of man crawling out from under van
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2023 5:09 PM CDT
Updated Sep 8, 2023 4:15 PM CDT
UK Hunts Terror Suspect Who Fled Prison in Chef's Uniform
Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police shows Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, who went missing from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday.   (Metropolitan Police via AP)
UPDATE Sep 8, 2023 4:15 PM CDT

Police are concentrating their search for an escaped terror suspect in southwest London, after receiving a report that Daniel Khalife was spotted in the area. One account of his prison escape had him getting away Wednesday by holding onto the bottom of a delivery van; a witness said a man crawled out from a under a van that had stopped later in the area, the BBC reports. Police on Friday were searching nearby Richmond Park, which is 2,500 acres, per CNN. They said they're following other leads, as well.

Sep 6, 2023 5:09 PM CDT

The UK has issued a nationwide appeal for tips as it searches for a terrorism suspect who escaped from a London prison on Wednesday. Officials suspect Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, sneaked out of Wandsworth prison through a prison kitchen, holding on to a delivery van while dressed in a prison-issue chef's uniform, the BBC reports. He was being held in the Victorian-era lockup while awaiting trial after being accused of planting fake bombs at a military base. Although they said Khalife doesn't post a great risk to the public, officials asked that anyone who encounters him call 999 instead of approaching him.

Security checks were stepped up at borders and ports, causing delays for travelers, per the Guardian. Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airport, and the Port of Dover were among the places affected. Prison officials declined to address unconfirmed reports that the prisoner got out by clinging to the bottom of the van. A court was told earlier this year that Khalife left the inoperable devices at a defense site where he was stationed to spark fear. Khalife was expelled from the armed services this year, though he hasn't stood trial yet. He's charged with terrorism and Official Secrets Act crimes. (More United Kingdom stories.)

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