Innocent man mistaken for terror suspect Daniel Khalife says ‘mistakes happen’ after being ‘questioned for 20 minutes’

8 September 2023, 10:12 | Updated: 8 September 2023, 10:20

A man mistaken for Khalife was detained at a train station.
A man mistaken for Khalife was detained at a train station. Picture: Social media/Met Police

By Emma Soteriou

An innocent man confused with escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife has said "mistakes happen" after being "questioned for 20 minutes" by police.

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Officers swooped on the 'look-a-like' at an Oxfordshire train station on Thursday, detaining him for around 20 minutes.

A man claiming to be the person involved said on Twitter that a woman had mistaken him for Daniel Abed Khalife at Banbury station and raised the alarm.

He said he was questioned by police before giving his fingerprints to prove that he was not the escapee.

Khalife, 21, is believed to have used strapping to attach himself to the bottom of a Bid Food vehicle that left Wandsworth prison before vanishing on Wednesday morning.

The Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command is trying to track him down, with more than 150 officers and staff involved in the manhunt.

Read more: Terror suspect's jailbreak was 'pre-planned,' says Met chief Sir Mark Rowley as he doesn’t rule out 'inside job'

Read more: It will take 'up to three years’ to clear Met of corrupt police officers, says Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley

The man mistaken for Khalife addressed footage shared of the incident online, saying: "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 [good] banter) I proved I wasn't the escapee after a finger print scan. Honestly crazy how much this has blown up."

He added: "Just wanna clarify that when it comes to situations like these that I don't really have any stance on police. I'm neither for or against. I try not to get political.

"Mistakes happen, and either I was lucky that things went smoothly, or maybe privileged, or even both. I don't know."

The man also said that he was later put in business class on his train as an apology.

Richmond Park was sealed off on Friday morning as police scoured the area amid concerns Khalife is using his army training to hide.

It comes after Met chief Sir Mark Rowley told LBC that the jailbreak of the ex-British soldier was carefully planned ahead of time and not opportunistic.

Taking calls from LBC listeners, Sir Mark Rowley told Nick Ferrari that Khalife's escape was "clearly pre-planned".

"The fact he could strap himself onto the bottom of the wagon, there’s obviously some logistics involved," he said.

"Just to work out a prison escape, and how you can do the logistics of it and get the right equipment, and how you’re going to do it, it’s unlikely to be something you do on the spur of the moment."

The Met released this image of the delivery van
The Met released this image of the delivery van. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Khalife had been working in the kitchen of Category B HMP Wandsworth in South London when he climbed under the delivery van and held on as it drove out of the jail.

The van left the prison and turned right onto Heathfield Road, then left onto Magdalen Road, then it travelled on Trinity Road and took the first exit at the roundabout onto Swandon Way.

It then went onto Old York Road, then onto Fairfield Street before making a right onto Wandsworth High Street before it travelled on Richmond Road, where it was stopped.

Police have said that Khalife does not pose a threat to the wider public but anyone who sees him should call 999 and not approach him.

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