Police in London are combing the city’s largest park in search of an escaped terror suspect He escaped from prison By attaching himself to the underside of the truck.
On Friday, the Metropolitan Police said it was searching Richmond Park in southwest London, near where the delivery van was located Daniel Khalifa It was spotted being used to escape from Wandsworth Prison on Thursday.
Khalifa staged a daring escape from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning dressed as a chef. British news agency PA Media reported that the 21-year-old is a serving member of the British Army and is awaiting trial on terrorism charges for planting fake bombs at a military base.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said in a statement on Friday: “In response to media inquiries about police activity in Richmond Park, we can now confirm that this is linked to the search for Danielle Khalifa.”
Heavy police activity was reported in the park throughout the night and into Friday morning.
Richmond Park, the largest of London’s royal parks, is designated a national nature reserve and extends over 2,500 acres. A favorite place for families and people seeking to escape the city, the park is famous for being home to large herds of deer.
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The Metropolitan Police said on Friday it was looking into the possibility that someone inside Wandsworth Prison had helped Khalifa escape.
Police Commissioner Mark Rowley told British radio station LBC that the prison escape was “clearly pre-planned”.
“The fact that he managed to strap himself to the bottom of the vehicle means there was clearly some logistics going on inside,” he said, adding that police would look “at everything as part of this investigation.”
Rowley added that it was “extremely worrying” that Khalifa, charged with terrorism and Official Secrets Act offences, was “at large again” and asked residents in south-west London to help identify sightings.
On Thursday – the second day of the search – the British government pledged to track down Khalifa.
The police set the timetable for Khalifa’s escape on Thursday.
They added that the soldier was declared missing at 7:50 am. The Metropolitan Police were alerted 25 minutes later, and officers tracked down the delivery van at 8:37am just two miles east of the prison, on a street in Putney, south-west London.
By then, Khalifa was gone, and the only survivors of his escape were the officers who were discovered under the truck.
British Justice Minister Alex Chalk said that the government would launch an independent investigation into the incident. In his speech before the British Parliament on Thursday, Chalk said that he had already ordered an internal investigation into the decision to place Khalifa in a low-security prison.
Opposition MPs in Britain criticized the ruling Conservative government following the prison escape, accusing the ministers of plunging the judicial system into a dangerous state due to years of austerity programmes.
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