A former British soldier who escaped from a London jail on Wednesday and was accused of espionage and terrorism was apprehended on Saturday, according to officials.
He laughed as he was arrested.
The Metropolitan Police of the United Kingdom (Met) confirmed in a statement that 21-year-old Daniel Abed Khalife escaped from His Majesty’s Prison (HMP) in Wandsworth at about 7:50 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The police believe he fled by attaching himself to the bottom of a food delivery vehicle that had left the jail earlier that morning.
The authorities asked for help in their countrywide search and offered £20,000 (almost $25,000) for information leading to his apprehension. On Friday, Khalife was seen leaving the food delivery truck at Wandsworth Roundabout, located around 1.6 kilometers (1.25 miles) from the jail.
On Saturday, armed with information and verified sightings, the police zeroed down on Chiswick, located some 7.5 miles from the jail. At 10:41 a.m. local time on Saturday, they caught him in Northolt, around 15 miles from the prison.
Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said a plainclothes officer observed him riding a pushbike on a towpath and pulling him off it. The Met said on Sunday that charges of escape had been filed against Khalife, who will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, a video went viral showing the arrest of a 19-year-old named Horatio Castille at a railway station in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identification.
A lady called the police, thinking the man was Daniel Khalife. After being questioned for about 20 minutes, Castille proved he wasn’t the escapee after a fingerprint scan.
Khalife, a British citizen with Lebanese ancestry on his father’s side, was a star athlete in high school. According to the BBC, he was arrested on suspicion of providing Iran with military secrets, staging a bomb hoax, and conspiring to commit terrorist acts.