Fugitive Daniel Khalife made one crucial error in his bid to evade police, according to an ex-army intelligence officer.
Former soldier Khalife, who has now been charged in relation to the escape, fled from HMP Wandsworth by clinging to the bottom of a lorry. He was in prison awaiting trial for terror-related charges.
The 21-year-old made his escape on Wednesday (September 6) and was on the run for 75 hours.
He was found by officers less than 10 miles away on a canal towpath in Northolt, West London, at around 10.40am on Saturday.
Ex-British Army intelligence officer Colonel Philip Ingram identified a mistake Khalife made that gave cops the start they needed in their hunt.
Speaking to the Mirror, Colonel Ingram explained how the moment he was seen walking away from the truck near a roundabout was pivotal in the chase.
"It was only a matter of time before they found him from that point,” he said. “The clock started ticking”.
"It does not take much effort for the police then to start piecing together all the CCTV that they need and everything else, and get witnesses to come forward.
“And that’s what’s happened. You need a starting point, they had an exact starting point and an exact time, whereas if they hadn’t they would have had to move into every option along the route from the lorry to the police stopping the lorry, which is a much bigger potential set of starting points.
"That was the significant breakthrough."
In a statement noting that he had been charged, Met Police today (September 10) said: "Daniel Abed Khalife, 21 (27.09.01) will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 11 September charged as follows:
"On the 6th day of September 2023, then being a prisoner in his Majesty’s prison at Wandsworth, being remanded in custody pending trial as ordered at the Central Criminal Court on the 21st day of July 2023, escaped, contrary to common law.
"Khalife was arrested on a towpath near Rowdell Road, Northolt on Saturday, 9 September following a policing operation led by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
"He was charged on Sunday, 10 September."
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