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Helicopter, police dogs and intelligence: How police tracked down Daniel Khalife

Helicopter, police dogs and intelligence: How police tracked down Daniel Khalife

Police dogs, a helicopter and officers searching in back gardens eventually helped lead to terror suspect Daniel Khalife’s capture following his escape from prison.

The Metropolitan Police previously noted the former soldier’s “ingenuity” as he managed to hold on to strapping on the underside of a delivery lorry to escape from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning.

The force had no confirmed sightings until two days later – which appeared to be when officers honed in on the 21-year-old.

Before any confirmed sighting, the Met confirmed that officers had searched the Richmond Park area on Friday morning.

Daniel Khalife
Daniel Abed Khalife (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The force then said a member of the public reported seeing a man matching Khalife’s description walking away from a Bidfood van that had stopped near the south entrance to Wandsworth Roundabout shortly after his escape.

Commander Dominic Murphy said on Friday evening that police conducted an intelligence-led search at a residential property in the Richmond area.

Mr Murphy would not say whether or not the address that was being searched in the Richmond borough was linked to Khalife by family or associates.

The counter-terrorism officer said the force had been “deploying resources throughout the night”.

He said: “We had the helicopter up, we had dogs, we had an awful lot of resource.

“I’m aware that it caused some concern for residents seeing police officers trying to search around their houses and in some cases, I’ve heard on the media… in their back gardens.

“This was all in an effort to try and locate Daniel Khalife.”

After completing the search at the residential address in Richmond, Mr Murphy said police received a call at around 2am or 3am from a member of the public who had seen Khalife in the streets in Chiswick.

Wandsworth prison escape locator
(PA Graphics)

He told reporters: “We then deployed officers there and we subsequently had further sightings in the Church Street and Chiswick Mall area, where again we deployed a number of officers.

“We consider those to be confirmed sightings of him.

“And then as a result of that activity, and clearly a number of other intelligence checks that we were doing at the time, we continued to deploy officers in that area, that’s when he was found this morning at 10.41am.”

Khalife was eventually found on a canal towpath in Northolt, west London, around eight miles from where he was last seen by a member of the public.

Asked for further detail on the arrest, Mr Murphy told the PA news agency: “The officer was responding as part of our search strategy following the call from the members of the public.

“And of course, we work really closely with intelligence partners here in counter-terrorism.

“The officer was in that area as a result of being tasked to search for Daniel, saw him on a pedal cycle, was able to pull him off that pushbike, and arrest him at that moment in time.”