Woman filming wrong man arrest in Khalife hunt 'knew' he was innocent

Woman who filmed police nabbing the wrong man in hunt for terror suspect Daniel Khalife ‘instinctively knew’ he was innocent

  • EXCLUSIVE: Eyewitness says arrested man looked ‘too happy’ after police error
  • Do YOU know the train passenger? Email [email protected]
  • Follow the latest developments on the hunt for Daniel Khalife LIVE

The woman who filmed the ‘terror suspect’ wrongly nabbed by cops has revealed she instinctively was convinced that police had the wrong man.

Daragh Meredith, 21, was on a train at Banbury Station when she witnessed the drama.

Police swooped on the passenger on Thursday – before establishing that he was not Daniel Khalife, the fugitive ex-soldier who escaped from HMP Wandsworth strapped to the underside of a delivery van on Wednesday.

Daragh, from Belfast, who is graduating today from Oxford Brookes University said: ‘I have studied criminology and law and when I saw what was happening I thought this is really cool as I knew the police were looking for Daniel Khalife.

‘I was supposed to be getting off my train at Oxford, but when we got to Leamington Spa, we were told there was a red light and we were going to be held up because there was a police incident.’

Officers handcuffed a man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued to hunt for terror suspect Daniel Khalife

Daragh Meredith, 21, witnessed the incident – and says she instantly knew he was innocent based on his reaction to the arrest

Horatio – as he has named himself on X – says he was later offered a first-class upgrade on his train by way of apology for the mix-up

Daniel Khalife (pictured), a former soldier in the 22 Signal Regiment, was on remand at HMP Wandsworth ahead of his six-week terror trial

She continued: ‘’They said it was at Banbury involving the escaped prisoner and were were held there for about 15 minutes before we started going towards Banbury.

‘As we pulled into the station I saw seven or eight police officers and a female officer was holding the handcuffs as a restraint on a guy sat on a bench.

‘He looked exactly like Daniel Khalife. I thought it was, like, cool to be seeing that. Because of what I have studied it was something that really interests me.

READ MORE: Who is Daniel Abed Khalife and what did he do as Metropolitan Police launch an urgent manhunt for the suspected terrorist who has escaped from HMP Wandsworth 

‘But I thought the guy looked way too happy at being arrested. If it was Khalife, he was never going to see daylight again after this. He looked too happy and was having a bit of banter with the police officers and the mix up.

‘He was very calm, very relaxed, and smiling and chatting away to the police officers.’

She said the innocent man had contacted her on Twitter wrongly believing she was on the opposite platform and that some posts had suggested she should become his girlfriend which had amused her.

Meanwhile, the man who was handcuffed by police after being mistaken for Khalife says he was treated to an upgraded seat as an apology for the mix-up. 

Horatio, as he has called himself, claimed to be the person stopped by police, writing on X: ‘No, I’m not the guy who escaped from prison. Apparently somebody reported me due to looking a lot like him.

‘I got released after they found out who I really was, and the train station put in business class as an apology! [sic]’

An earlier tweet read: ‘Hi everyone, just made this acc to explain what happened today. A woman mistook me for Daniel Khalife, and alerted the police. 

‘After about 20 mins of questions (and some gd banter) I proved I wasn’t the escapee after a finger print scan.’

He later added: ‘Mistakes happen, and either I was lucky that things went smoothly, or maybe privileged, or even both.’ 

As police dealt with the ‘possible sighting’, train passenger Oliver, in his 20s, was left waiting outside the station while the incident took place.

Khalife, 21, was on remand at HMP Wandsworth (pictured) awaiting trial in relation to terrorism and Official Secrets Act offences

Soldier and terror suspect Daniel Khalife served fellow inmates breakfast and then evaded guards and CCTV while escaping from the prison

The Met Police admitted Khalife’s ‘previous military experience’ may make him harder to catch, as he is likely ‘more aware of efforts to apprehend him’

When the train then pulled into the station, he was able to snap a clear picture of the man, who many have said shares a striking resemblance to 21-year-old Khalife.

Oliver said: ‘We went through Banbury on the way to Basingstoke.

‘Just before we got there, they said on the Tannoy that we couldn’t go to Banbury and they’re delaying the train as they think there’s an escaped terrorist at the station.

‘It was a 15-minute wait – when we pulled into the station he was right outside my window – it looked like him a lot.

READ MORE: How Daniel Khalife pulled off the great escape: The minute-by-minute lowdown on how the terror suspect fugitive melted away into London in just over an hour after making a daring bolt for freedom by clinging to underside of a lorry

‘When we were waiting at Banbury I was a bit worried at first, I was thinking a lot of things – is he on the track, is he trying to get on the train, what’s going to happen.

‘It was a bit daunting at first but I’m glad they told us correct information because sometimes they withhold it.’

There have so far been no confirmed sightings of Khalife, with the ex-Royal Signals soldier said to be ‘resourceful’ as he continues to allude authorities. 

Thames Valley Police said: ‘Officers dealt with a possible sighting of a wanted male at Banbury Train Station this afternoon.

‘It was not the person we were looking for and the incident has been stood down. Thank you for your support at the time.’

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement reported by the Guardian: ‘We are aware of a man being stopped by police in the Banbury area earlier today.

‘We have liaised with colleagues in Thames Valley and confirmed the man in question is not Daniel Khalife.’

Commander Dominic Murphy, who is leading the investigation, asked for anyone with information about Khalife to get in touch urgently.

He said: ‘Since yesterday, over 150 officers and staff have been working around the clock on apprehending Khalife.

‘We have issued a nationwide alert that has resulted in increased security at our ports and borders, however currently there have not been any confirmed sightings.

‘I recognise and am fully aware of the impact these measures are having on the public. We are working to ensure as minimal disruption as possible.

‘It is crucial for the public to help us with this search and to call us immediately if they have any information on the whereabouts of Khalife.’

Daniel Khalife escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday by clinging to the underside of a delivery van

Police in Richmond Park, south-west London on Friday. Searches of the park were carried out overnight as officers continue to look for fugitive Khalife

The food truck Daniel Khalife is believed to have used for his escape from HMP Wandsworth

The fugitive, described as being of slim build, with short brown hair and 6ft 2ins tall, was said to be wearing a white T-shirt, distinctive red and white chequered trousers and brown steel-toe boots, though the Met Police said that the public should not focus on his clothing. 

Murphy said at a briefing: ‘He clearly could very quickly change those clothes, so I wouldn’t want to focus too much on that.’

He described him as a ‘very resourceful individual’, adding: ‘Our experience of him shows that, so nothing is off the table with him at the moment.

‘This was a really busy area of London and we’ve had no confirmed sightings in any of that information, which is a little unusual, and perhaps testament to Daniel Khalife’s ingenuity in his escape and some of his movements after his escape.

‘It’s important that we remember that we have some of the best military in the world here in the UK and he was trained.

‘He was a trained soldier – so ultimately he has skills that perhaps some sections of the public don’t have.’

Source: Read Full Article