Khalife escaped wearing a chef's outfit.
Airports and ferry terminals in the UK have been put on high alert as police fear a terror suspect who escaped from a south London prison on Wednesday may attempt to flee the country.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has called for an investigation into what the BBC’s Chris Mason calls the “jaw-dropping” circumstances surrounding Daniel Abed Khalife’s escape from HM Prison Wandsworth.
The 21-year-old former soldier is believed to have been preparing breakfast for inmates in the prison kitchen when he made a break for it by clinging to the bottom of a delivery truck as it drove out of the jail’s grounds.
“Ministry of Justice officials were left red-faced,” said The Telegraph, and police have issued an urgent public appeal for information about Khalife’s whereabouts.
An “astonishing sequence of events” unfolded at Wandsworth prison, said Mason. Prison staff realized that Khalife was missing at around 7 a.m., a source told The Times, and “nearly an hour” passed while staff searched the jail before police were informed.
The suspected criminal is thought to have been wearing his chef’s uniform of a white T-shirt and red and white checked trousers when he made the escape. It’s “as gobsmacking as it is absurd”, said Mason.
Khalife had been charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act and “perpetrating a bomb hoax”, said The Telegraph, to which he pleaded not guilty in January. He was due to stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court in November.