Security officials in the United Kingdom have launched a manhunt for a former British soldier who escaped a maximum prison on Wednesday in the capital city of London.
Daniel Abed Khalife, 21 was a soldier in the UK military until he was arrested and charged with planting a fake bomb at an army base and gathering sensitive information about the UK military. He was discharged from the army on May 22, 2023.
The BBC said Mr. Khalife, who worked in the kitchen at South London’s Wandsworth Prison, strapped himself under a delivery van wearing kitchen uniform and was able to escape after the van left the prison premises.
Khalife was accused of working for Iran, according to the BBC, but he has denied all of the charges against him.
Though the UK defense secretary said Khalife was not a risk to the public, they said anyone with information on Mr. Khalife should alert security.
Speaking before the British Parliament on Thursday, Alex Chalk, the Justice Minister of the United Kingdom, announced the initiation of two immediate reviews. The first review is focused on the categorisation of Wandsworth Prison specifically, while the second encompasses prisons throughout the UK that house individuals facing charges related to terrorism.
Chalk emphatically declared, “Daniel Khalife will be found, and he will be made to face justice.”
A spokesperson representing the prison informed the BBC that an internal inquiry is currently in progress to ascertain the precise reasons for Khalife’s presence at Wandsworth Prison and to determine whether security protocols were adhered to accurately.
“The justice secretary is working to understand from operational colleagues this evening both the categorization decision and the situation that led to the escape, what protocols were in place and if they were followed,” the prison spokesperson said.
Additional security measures were put in place in all ports and airport in the United Kingdom.