Escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife arrested in Chiswick
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Terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife would have received some sort of “collusion and support” to aid his escape, a former prisons minister has said after the terror suspect was seen laughing during his arrest.
The Metropolitan Police said the former soldier was tackled off a bike and arrested by a plainclothes counter-terrorism officer on a canal towpath near Rowdell Road in west London just before 11am on Saturday morning. He is currently in police custody.
The 21-year-old’s arrest follows a 75-hour nationwide manhunt after he was believed to have escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery lorry, having left the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform.
Former Tory MP Rory Stewart has told Sky News: “It seems clear if he had strapping underneath this vehicle, that there was some kind of collusion and support.”
Khalife – who was found with a sleeping bag, change of clothes, bottle of water and Waitrose cool bag – laughed at police and winked at passersby during his arrest, according to a witness. Student Ethan Andrews, 20, told The Sun: “The guy looked up at me, winked and started laughing. I thought, how arrogant is that? I can’t believe he was just sitting there, looked at me and just winked.”
Khalife ‘had help’ to escape, says former prisons minister
Terror suspect Daniel Khalife would have received some sort of “collusion and support” to aid his escape, a former prisons minister has said.
Former Tory MP Rory Stewart also said that prisons in England and Wales are “unmanageable”.
Asked if he would have resigned if the escape happened during his tenure, he told Sky News: “I definitely think that it’s important for ministers to take full responsibility.
“There are 120 prisons in England and Wales. There were escapes on my watch…for the first few days, you’re just trying to work out what on earth happened – how did this happen? And the story changes, as you can imagine, minute by minute. You have to get on the ground in Wandsworth and talk to the governor.
“In this particular case, it seems clear if he had strapping underneath this vehicle, that there was some kind of collusion and support. But it’s also clear that they seemed to spend, I don’t know, half an hour/45 minutes before they even noticed he was gone from the kitchen, and he shouldn’t be in the kitchen in the first place.”
Mr Stewart added: “The bigger issue is the prison population, these prisons are totally unmanageable. And the main thing that I was trying to do when I was in government is reduce the prison population.”
Escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife ‘laughed' during arrest
Escaped terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife “laughed” after he was tackled off his bike by a police officer on a canal towpath and then arrested, ending a 75-hour nationwide manhunt.
The former soldier – who was found with a sleeping bag, change of clothes, bottle of water and Waitrose cool bag – laughed at police and winked at passersby during his arrest, according to a witness.
Student Ethan Andrews, 20, told The Sun: “The guy looked up at me, winked and started laughing. I thought, how arrogant is that? I can’t believe he was just sitting there, looked at me and just winked.”
Daniel Khalife arrested by police in west London
Police ‘pivot’ investigation to looking at whether Khalife had help
The Metropolitan Police said it is now “pivoting” its investigation towards looking at whether Daniel Khalife had any help with his escape from Wandsworth Prison following the terror suspect’s arrest yesterday.
Commander Murphy said: “Our priority following Khalife’s escape was to find him and bring him back to custody, which, thanks to the help of the public, and the excellent work by our officers, we have achieved. We are now pivoting our investigation towards the circumstances of his escape and whether there may have been any other persons involved and that investigation continues.”
Recap: Soldiers reveal what Khalife is really like
The soldier facing terrorism and espionage charges who escaped from prison claimed to be a survivalist and went on solitary overnight camping expeditions when off-duty, according to former colleagues who knew him.
Daniel Abed Khalife boasted that he would join a signals unit of Special Forces and was preparing for the entry requirements. There is, however, no evidence of him officially embarking on this path. Former soldiers who knew him say that he was viewed as “ a bit of a fantasist” , but someone “ who took his fitness seriously”.
Two former soldiers in the Royal Corps of Signals described 21 year old Khalife as someone seeking attention and sometimes “ playing the clown” to do so. They recall an incident in which he stole a senior officer’s epaulettes, put them on his uniform, and wanted to post photos on social media wearing them.
The former soldier had serving at a military base in Stafford before he was arrested on terrorism charges
Inmates moved out of Wandsworth Prison after Khalife escape
Around 40 inmates of HMP Wandsworth have been moved out of the Category B prison after terror suspect Daniel Khalife’s escape, the Justice Secretary has said.
Justice Secretry Alex Chalk said on Sunday that the preliminary findings of his investigation into the ageing London jail have found that the relevant procedures and security staff were in place.
But he said dozens of individuals on remand have been moved to different sites “out of an abundance of caution” amid questions over why a former soldier accused of a terror offence was not in the highest security prison.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said the move has been made out of an ‘abundance of caution’
Prison population gone over 88,000, says chief inspector
Chief inspector of prisons Charlie Taylor told the BBC the prison population has gone over 88,000.
He said: “If you go back to the mid 1990s, when actually crime was much higher than it is now, our prison population was half what it is, or pretty much half what it is today. I think it was around 40 to 44,000 and it’s now gone up to over 88,000.
“The projections are that it will go up even further and the problem is if it goes up even further what that means is more prisoners sharing cells that were designed for one person, continuing to use these old battered, crumbling vermin infested Victorian jails, which would make fantastic museums or flats but really are not fit for purpose for the 21st century.
“But also that there aren’t enough staff in place to be able to unlock prisoners and actually to begin to do the things with prisoners that are actually going to help them to not offend when they come out.
“Prisons have got a public protection duty to keep people locked up when they’re inside, but they also have a public protection duty to make sure that they put in place the things that mean that when someone leaves prison, they’re less likely to reoffend.”
Prison governors’ hands tied by ‘extraordinary level of bureaucracy'
Chief inspector of prisons Charlie Taylor has said that prison governors’ hands are often tied by an “extraordinary level of bureaucracy”.
He told the Laura Kuenssberg show: “It’s not just about the pipeline of people coming in. It’s also about the quality of people coming in. And the fact that many people are leaving the job after quite short periods of time.
“And one of the reasons for that, and governors tell me this is that, governors themselves have no part in the selection of staff who come and work in their jail. The boss can’t choose their staff.
“I’m a former head teacher and I sit there aghast at some of the things that governors can’t do. They can’t commission work.
“I spoke to a governor last week who said that in order to buy a pot of paint, she had to go through some long procurement exercise through the centre rather than sending someone down to Howdens to buy a pot of paint to decorate some cells.
“So there is a sort of bureaucracy around prisons, which makes things incredibly complicated and means the governors, some of them are unbelievably impressive people who do an absolutely brilliant job, but often their hands are tied by what seems to me coming from an education background, like an extraordinary level of bureaucracy.”
Wandsworth prisoners spend 22 hours a day in cells, says chief inspector
Chief inspector of prisons Charlie Taylor has said that prisoners at Wandsworth Prison spend up to 22 hours a day in their cells.
He told the BBC: “I think Wandsworth is failing typical of most inner city Victorian local prisons of which there is still a huge amount that are open and and there are three things really it’s about having enough staff of the right quality. It’s about the level of overcrowding that you have.
“I think Wandsworth is 600 over what it was originally designed for. It’s about, 1,600 prisoners, and that means lots of people sharing cells that were originally designed for one person.
“And the third thing is about prisoners having enough to do and what we found when we inspected Wandsworth last year was that people were largely locked in their cells for up to 22 hours a day and sometimes even worst at the weekends.”
HMP Wandsworth in London, which terror suspect Daniel Abed escaped from clinging on to a delivery lorry
Justice Secretary has ‘absolute confidence’ in HMPPS investigation
The Justice Secretary has said he has “absolute confidence” in the senior leadership of HM Prison and Probation Service to do a “very rigorous, very searching” investigation following Daniel Khalife’s escape from Wandsworth Prison.
Alex Chalk told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg that investigations into how the terror suspect was able to escape are currently underway.
He said: “I have absolute confidence in the senior leadership of HM Prison and Probation Service to do their own very rigorous, very searching investigation.”
Preliminary findings suggest it is “clear” the relevant security protocols and staff were in place at the time of Khalife’s escape, he said.
HMP Wandsworth had correct security protocols, suggests Justice Secretary
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said an investigation has suggested that HMP Wandsworth did have the correct security protocols and staff in place at the time of Daniel Khalife’s escape.
Discussing preliminary findings of a review he issued, Mr Chalk told Sky’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips the investigation has looked into whether protocols were in place relating to the unloading of food from a van and searching the delivery vehicle.
“Those protocols were in place, point one,” he said.
“And point two, the relevant security staff were also in place. Plainly what we’ve yet to establish is whether those protocols were followed.”
He said he will set out the terms of reference “next week” of the separate independent investigation to ensure that the conclusions are “rock solid”.