Police hunting escaped terror suspect swoop on ‘look-a-like’

Police hunting escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife, 21, swoop on ‘look-a-like’ at Oxfordshire train station

  • A train passenger captured the incident on camera before police let the man go

Police hunting escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife accidentally detained a ‘look-a-like’ at an Oxfordshire train station, with the arrest caught on camera by a member of the public.

Officers swooped on the man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued to hunt for terror suspect Khalife, who escaped HMP Wandsworth strapped underneath a delivery van early on Wednesday morning.

It is understood the man police thought could have been the fugitive former soldier was arrested then de-arrested when officers established it was not in fact him.

A man claiming to be the person stopped by police during the incident has posted on X to say that a woman mistook him for Khalife before raising the alarm.

He went on to say that after being questioned for 20 minutes and giving his finger prints he was able to prove that he wasn’t the escapee.

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

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

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

When the train then pulled into the station, he was able to snap a clear picture of a man who many have said shares a striking similarity 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 train as they think there’s an escaped terrorist at 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.

‘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 info 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.

Dressed as a chef, the soldier-turned-alleged-spy served fellow inmates breakfast and then evaded guards and CCTV while the vehicle was driven for 250 yards along an internal road

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

‘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 that may help us 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.’

The fugitive, described as being of slim build, with short brown hair and 6ft 2ins tall, and 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.’


Related posts