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Britain Vows to Find Terror Suspect Who Escaped London Jail

A wanted sign featuring an image of Daniel Abed Khalife, a former soldier who is suspected of terrorism offenses, is displayed near Wandsworth prison, from which he escaped, in London, Sept. 7, 2023.

The United Kingdom pledged on Thursday to find the former army soldier suspected of terrorism who escaped from prison by hiding under a food delivery van.

Daniel Abed Khalife is believed to have escaped from a medium-security London prison on Wednesday by leaving the prison kitchen where he was working and fastening himself to the bottom of a van.

“Daniel Khalife will be found, and he will be made to face justice,” U.K. Justice Minister Alex Chalk told parliament on Thursday.

Daniel Abed Khalife
Daniel Abed Khalife

The 21-year-old terrorist suspect is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt, which includes enhanced security checks at ports and airports. But as of Thursday evening in the U.K., police said there had not been any confirmed sightings of Khalife.

Discharged from the British army in May, the former soldier was awaiting trial on offenses related to terrorism and the Official Secrets Act.

Khalife is accused of planting fake bombs at an army base in England and collecting sensitive personal information about soldiers from a U.K. Defense Ministry database. He is also accused of gathering information for Iran, the BBC reported.

Khalife denied all the charges against him.

At parliament on Thursday, Chalk also said there would be an immediate investigation into the prison’s protocols and the decision about where Khalife was held. A second independent investigation will take place at a later date, Chalk said.

“No stone must be left unturned in getting to the bottom of what happened,” Chalk said.

More than 150 investigators and police staff are on the case, according to Metropolitan Police Commander Dominic Murphy, who is the lead investigator.

Some information in this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press.