A British soldier awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges has escaped from a prison in south-west London, the country’s anti-terror police said on Wednesday.
The police said that Daniel Abed Khalifeaccused of planting fake bombs at a military base and breaching Britain’s Official Secrets Act, disappeared from Wandsworth prison early Wednesday morning.
Khalife, 21, has denied all charges against him.
“We have a team of officers who are conducting thorough and urgent investigations to locate and apprehend Khalife as quickly as possible,” the commander said. Dominic Murphyhead of the anti-terrorism command of the Metropolitan Police.
Murphy said there is no information to suggest Khalife poses a threat to the general public, but urged anyone who might see him not to approach him.
No explanation was provided as to how Khalife escaped.
Daniel Abed Khalife is believed to have escaped from prison in Wandsworthin south London, around 07:50 (06:50 GMT).
He appeared in London court on January 28 and remained in custody for two incidents at the base of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Staffordin the center of Englandnear the army barracks where he lived.
Khalife is charged with “attempting to obtain information of a kind that may be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” in August 2021.
He was also charged with bomb fraud by planting a suspicious device at the RAF base on January 2 this year.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that he was likely still in the London area, although they did not rule out that he had traveled outside the British capital.
They advised the public not to go near him and to call the police immediately.
“We have no information to indicate, nor any reason to believe, that Khalife poses a threat to the general public,” said Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counterterrorism Command.
“We have a team of officers who are conducting thorough and urgent investigations to locate and arrest Khalife as quickly as possible,” the police chief said.
“However, the public can also help us and if anyone sees Khalife or has any information about where he might be, call 999 immediately,” the officer said according to testimonies published by the local media. The Guardian.
“I also want to reassure the public that we have no information to indicate, or any reason to believe, that Khalife poses a threat to the general public, but our advice, if you see him, is to stay away from him and call 999 immediately,” Murphy added.
(With information from AP and AFP)