U.K. police catch terrorism suspect Daniel Khalife, who escaped from a London prison

Author: CBS News
Published: Updated:
Daniel Khalife (CREDIT: CBS News)

A former soldier who escaped from a London prison while awaiting trial on terrorism charges was captured Saturday, police said.

Daniel Abed Khalife was on the run for four days before a massive search managed to nab him in Chiswick in west London. The dramatic escape from a British prison by Khalife has been called “pre-planned” by London’s police chief.

Khalife escaped on the bottom of a food delivery truck from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday. The breakout ignited a storm of criticism as political opponents blamed the ruling Conservative party for incompetence.

Khalife, 21, is accused of planting fake bombs at a military base and of violating Britain’s Official Secrets Act by gathering information “that could be useful to an enemy.” He was discharged from the British army after his arrest earlier this year and had denied the allegations. His trial is set for November.

Khalife also faced charges of allegedly working for Iran and eliciting personal information from a U.K. Ministry of Defence database, according to CBS News partners at the BBC. 

London counter-terror police had offered a 20,000 pound ($25,000) reward for information leading to his arrest. About 150 counter-terrorism officers are involved in the search effort, the Metropolitan police said. 

Questions were been raised over whether Khalife should have been held in a more secure facility, considering the nature of the charges against him. London’s Wandsworth prison where Khalife was held is a “Category B” prison, which holds high security prisoners but is not considered as secure as a “Category A” prison, the highest security ranking for prisons in the U.K. 

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