Investigation Into Fugitive Daniel Khalife’s Prison Escape Continues
As the manhunt for fugitive terror suspect Daniel Khalife, a 21-year-old former British Army soldier, intensifies following his escape from HMP Wandsworth, London police are exploring the possibility of an inside job in his prison break.
Pre-Planned Jailbreak and Potential Assistance
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley stated that Khalife’s escape from HMP Wandsworth was “clearly pre-planned” and acknowledged the ongoing investigation into whether prison staff might have assisted him.
Richmond Park Lockdown and Heat-Seeking Helicopters
London’s Richmond Park was placed under lockdown, with helicopters equipped with heat-seeking cameras scouring the area as part of the manhunt. This tactic is in response to concerns that Khalife, utilizing his military training, might be hiding there.
Strapping Escape Method
Khalife, who served in the 16 Signal Regiment, is suspected of fashioning straps from his cell mattress’s plastic covering and using them to attach himself to the underside of a delivery lorry. This ingenious method allowed him to escape the prison.
Questions Surrounding His Prison Placement
The decision to house Khalife in a Category B prison like HMP Wandsworth has raised questions, as it seemed unusual for a terror suspect. Sir Mark Rowley expressed his surprise at this choice.
Appeal to Pharmacies Due to Possible Burns
Pharmacies have been urged to be vigilant, as it is believed Khalife might have sustained burns to his face during the escape. This suggestion arose due to the risk of burns from contact with the hot exhaust systems of vehicles.
CCTV Footage and Time Gap in Escape
CCTV footage showed the lorry Khalife escaped under a mere 200 yards from the prison. There was no sign of the suspect in the images, indicating that he might have left the vehicle shortly after it exited the prison gates. Notably, there was a 65-minute gap between the lorry’s departure and its eventual stop and search by police.
Detailed Account of Escape
Khalife, dressed in his chef’s uniform, began his escape by assisting in preparing breakfast at the prison. He fashioned makeshift strapping, which he used later during his escape. He managed to conceal himself beneath a Bidfood delivery lorry in the prison yard, utilizing the strapping to support his weight.
The Escaped Route and Investigation
Khalife clung to the underside of the lorry as it exited the prison, ultimately making his escape onto the streets of London. The police investigation is ongoing, with a focus on how Khalife executed the escape and whether he had any assistance from inside or outside the prison.
Concerns Over HMP Wandsworth
HMP Wandsworth has faced criticism and concerns over security in the past. Reports of overcrowding and violence have been raised, with allegations of poor conditions and inadequate facilities. Khalife’s escape has highlighted these ongoing issues.
A History of Prison Escapes
HMP Wandsworth has seen previous escape attempts, including Ronnie Biggs’s 1965 breakout. The prison’s history includes incidents where prisoners managed to evade custody through various means.
Police Efforts and Public Assistance
The police operation to locate Khalife involves a substantial number of officers and support from various law enforcement agencies. Authorities are urging the public to report any information that may aid in his capture.
Speculation About Accomplices
While police are keeping an open mind regarding the possibility of accomplices, they acknowledge Khalife’s resourcefulness and military training, suggesting that his escape was likely premeditated rather than impulsive. There is speculation about whether he arranged for a getaway with assistance from others.