Daniel Khalife ‘trained in evasion’ but cops now think they know where he is

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    Fugitive Daniel Khalife was trained in specialist evasion tactics during his time in the British Army as police confirmed a new sighting of the runaway inmate.

    The ex-soldier, 21, fled HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday (September 6) while awaiting trial for terror and Official Secrets Act charges after he was accused of spying for Iran.

    Police now believe they may be closing in on the escapee and said the search would now be focused "in and around the Chiswick area" after he was spotted in the southwest London neighbourhood.

    The Met stated today: "We can confirm that police involved in the search for Daniel Khalife are this morning, 9 September, focusing their efforts in and around the Chiswick area.

    "This activity comes after intelligence-led activity and some confirmed sightings in that area overnight, including calls from members of the public.

    "Officers remain in the Chiswick area and are planning to carry out further intensive search activity there through the day."

    Khalife is thought to have learned evasion tactics during his time with the Royal Signals at Blandford barracks which are now helping him dodge capture, reports The Sun.

    He joined the Army in 2019 before being discharged in April of this year, and during that time undertook SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape) training, which teaches military recruits how to stay "off-grid" by avoiding populous areas, cameras and main roads.

    Khalife took the SERE 1 course, a basic form of training that reportedly includes a one-hour tuition video from ex-SAS soldier Chris Ryan, who also penned the book The One That Got Away.

    A defence source said: "It is only the basic course, but it could be useful to a fugitive from justice."

    The news comes after police shut down Richmond Park in southwest London on Thursday night (September 7) as helicopters circled overhead in search of the runaway.

    Security expert Professor Anthony Glees of the University of Buckingham previously told the Daily Star Khalife's military training would come in handy if he were hiding in the green space.

    "We've now learned that Khalife's mother and sister had a flat in the Richmond Park area," he said. "He may know the area, may indeed have a hideout there.

    "If he is hidden in the park, his training at Beacon Barracks in Stafford will give him some hints as to how to avoid detection. But if he is in the park I think he will be found before too long."

    Khalife was working in the prison kitchen and made the dash in his chef's uniform after serving breakfast to his fellow lags.

    He made his way to the delivery area at around 7.50am before hiding under the van and reportedly securing himself to the bottom of the vehicle with makeshift straps.

    Met Police yesterday released CCTV footage of the Bidfood van that carried the escapee out of Wandsworth driving along nearby roads as they continued their search for the missing inmate.

    Cops also announced they were offering a reward of £20,000 for information leading directly to Khalife's arrest and today released a new description of the runaway.

    "From reports received, Khalife is believed to be wearing a black baseball cap, black t-shirt and dark-coloured bottoms, and carrying a small bag or case," they said before urging members of the public not to approach Khalife if they see him and instead call 999.

    The ex-soldier's escape came following accusations he had collected information, notes and documents which would be "useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

    He also allegedly carried out a bomb hoax by leaving "three canisters with wires" on a desk at RAF Stafford on January 2, 2023.

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    • Crime
    • Police
    • Prison News
    • British Army

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