Cops hunting escaped terror suspect close huge London park as helicopters circle

Police searching for runaway terror suspect Daniel Khalife have sealed off a major London park as efforts to find him continue.

Cops were spotted guarding every entrance to Richmond Park, a 2,400-acre green space in the capital's southwest, last night (Thursday, September 7) as two helicopters circled the area and nearby Wimbledon Common.

One witness told The Sun: "There are so many police involved. It's a huge operation – they must have a good reason to think he might be in there."

READ MORE: Inside terror suspect's brazen prison break 'more like something out of WW2'

Ex-British Army soldier Khalife, 22, broke out of Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning while awaiting trial for terror and Official Secrets Act offences.

The escaped inmate slipped out of the jail undetected by clinging upside down to the underside of a delivery truck as it was waved out.

Richmond Park is just over two miles from where cops found the vehicle on Upper Richmond Road in Putney following the escape – but by that point he had vanished.

Khalife also has links to the area, having grown up in a flat nearby.

Police have now confirmed the search around the park was linked to the hunt for the escapee.

  • Most daring jail breaks from chopper heist to 'Korean Houdini' as terror suspect on run

Following Khalife's disappearance a "national incident" has been declared as Border Control were placed on high alert.

Extra ID checks are now in place and travellers can expect long queues at airports across the UK, while stepped-up security at Dover has reportedly caused travel chaos.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met Police's counterterrorism control, warned: "It's absolutely possible… he has already left the country.

"We believe him to be here, but we keep an open mind."

Khalife was working in the prison kitchen and was still wearing his chef's uniform when he bolted after serving breakfast to his fellow lags.

He is understood to have made his way to the delivery area before hiding under the van and securing himself with makeshift straps.

The van then left the prison complex at 7.32am, with his disappearance reported at 7.50am.

However, it reportedly took prison staff until 8.15am to tell police the inmate was missing.

Khalife was initially taken into custody after being charged with collecting information, notes and documents which would be "useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

The ex-soldier, who was stationed at Beacon Barracks in Beaconside, Stafford, is accused of taking soldier details from the MoD personnel files.

He also allegedly carried out a bomb hoax, leaving "three canisters with wires" on a desk at RAF Stafford on January 2, 2023.

He was discharged from the British Army back in April and is due to stand trial on November 20.

Khalife was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, red and white chequered trousers and brown steel toe cap boots, and was described as being slim with brown hair and around 6ft 2in tall.

While the escapee is not considered dangerous, members of the public have been urged not to approach him if they see him and instead to call 999.

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: "An alert was issued by the Counter Terrorism Command earlier today in relation to Khalife through established operational briefing channels to relevant UK police and law enforcements agencies, including those at UK ports and borders."

The Prison Service said: "We are working with the Metropolitan Police to recapture this prisoner and are urgently investigating how he escaped."

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