The incident led to long queues of airline passengers, with many missing their flights due to the extensive searches conducted by airport staff.
The urgency of the situation was evident when The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command sent out an immediate appeal to all UK ports and borders. Khalife's escape from the prison was nothing short of audacious. He was awaiting trial for charges related to terrorism and violations of the Official Secrets Act. The Metropolitan Police reported that he managed to flee the prison just before 8 am on a Wednesday.
The escape method he employed was both cunning and daring. Khalife, a 21-year-old member of the British Army, reportedly clung to the bottom of a delivery van after discreetly leaving the prison kitchen. This act of evasion has left many in shock, questioning the security measures in place.
The charges against Khalife are grave. He stands accused of attempting to gather information that could aid a terrorist on 2 August 2021. Furthermore, he is alleged to have breached the Official Secrets Act by collecting data that might be beneficial to an adversary between 1 May 2019 and 6 January 2022. Khalife, however, has refuted these charges.
The aftermath of his escape was felt by travelers across major UK airports. Reports of long queues emerged from prominent airports such as Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester, and Glasgow Airport. The inconvenience caused to passengers was palpable, with many expressing their frustration over missed flights.
Commander Dominic Murphy, who heads the Counter Terrorism Command, emphasized the urgency of the situation. He stated, “We have a team of officers who are making extensive and urgent inquiries in order to locate and detain Khalife as quickly as possible.” The statement underscores the gravity of the situation and the potential threat Khalife poses.
The incident has raised several questions about the security measures in place at prisons and the ease with which Khalife managed to escape. As the manhunt continues, the UK remains on high alert, with authorities working tirelessly to ensure the safety of its citizens.