Daniel Khalife, 21, a former soldier who was facing trial on terrorism charges, escaped from Wandsworth prison on Wednesday by clinging to the underside of a grocery lorry. He managed to free himself at a roundabout and fled on foot. He was considered armed and dangerous, and the police launched a massive manhunt to find him. He was also wanted for questioning in connection with a series of murders and robberies across London.
Khalife used his military skills and contacts to evade capture for four days, changing his appearance and using different vehicles and disguises. He also allegedly stalked and harassed two young women who met him at a Wetherspoons pub, where he boasted about having over £20,000 in his bank account. The women shared footage of Khalife with MailOnline, showing him sitting at their table and smiling.
How the police tracked him down and arrested him
The police received a breakthrough on Saturday when they intercepted communications that led them to a house in Richmond, South-West London, where they believed Khalife was hiding. They raided the house, but missed him by minutes. However, they found evidence that he had been there, including weapons, cash and fake IDs.
The police continued their search in the area, using helicopters, dogs and undercover officers. They spotted Khalife cycling along a canal towpath near Kew Bridge at 10:41am on Sunday. An undercover officer tackled him to the ground and arrested him. He was taken to a nearby police station for questioning.
How the public reacted to the news of his capture
The news of Khalife’s capture was met with relief and praise by the public and the authorities. Home Secretary Priti Patel congratulated the police for their “outstanding work” and said that Khalife would face justice for his “heinous crimes”. She also announced an inquiry into how he managed to escape from prison and what measures could be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.
The victims of Khalife’s alleged crimes also expressed their gratitude to the police for bringing him to justice. One of them, a shopkeeper who was robbed at gunpoint by Khalife in February, said that he was “terrified” when he heard that he had escaped from prison. He said that he hoped that Khalife would get a “life sentence” for his actions.
The public also praised the two women who shared their footage of Khalife with MailOnline, saying that they were “brave” and “helpful”. The women said that they were “shocked” to see him on the news as he seemed “weird but not a terrorist”. They said that they were glad that he was caught and that they were safe.