The police have confirmed a sighting of escaped terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife in southwest London on Wednesday morning (September 6), with a reward of up to £20,000 offered for information leading to his arrest.
Scotland Yard said an eyewitness reported seeing a man fitting Khalife’s description “walking away from a BidFood van that had stopped near the south entrance to Wandsworth Roundabout”, about a mile from Wandsworth Prison.
The ex-British Army soldier, who is accused of planting fake bombs at a military base and spying, escaped from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning. The search for him has entered a third day and remains an ‘around the clock’ operation led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
The force said the sighting was at the “top of Trinity Road, shortly after his escape”. The 21-year-old former soldier was then seen “walking towards Wandsworth town centre.” The police have described the potential sighting as “very significant” and “one of several key lines of enquiry that officers are pursuing”.
Khalife was working in the kitchen and wearing a chef’s uniform when he held onto straps underneath a food lorry after it left the prison at 7.32am. It is possible he has fled the country, investigators believe.
More than 150 of the Met’s counter terrorism officers and staff, with support from colleagues across the Met and in other forces, have been working at pace around the clock, making extensive enquiries to try to find Khalife.
Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This remains a fast-paced and dynamic investigation, but I want the public to know that a large number of officers are working extremely hard to locate Khalife.
“We have now received more than 100 calls from the public, and we thank everyone who has contacted us with information. The sighting near Wandsworth Roundabout could be very significant, and this is one of many useful lines of enquiry that officers are perusing.
“We continue to urge the public to contact us straight away if they think they have seen Khalife or have information on his whereabouts. We will continue to work closely with all our colleagues in police services across the country and other partners to trace Khalife and bring him back into custody.”
The police have since released moving footage of the van Khalife is believed to have escaped on, and a still of the type of clothing he was wearing as part of their appeal.
To report a live sighting of Khalife, or information which is urgent, please call 999. Alternatively, anyone with information which might assist the ongoing enquiry can call police on 101.
The police have also opened their UK Image Appeal website which allows people to submit any relevant imagery and video directly to the investigation team. This could be CCTV, doorbell footage, mobile phone footage, or dash-cam footage.