Police hunting escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife, 21, swoop on ‘look-a-like’ at Oxfordshire train station
Police on the hunt for escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife have mistakenly apprehended a ‘look-a-like’ at an Oxfordshire railway station, with the arrest by a member of the public captured on camera.
Officers dived for the man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued to hunt for terror suspect Khalife, who escaped HMP Wandsworth early Wednesday morning, tied up under a van.
It’s clear that the man police thought might be the fugitive former soldier was arrested and then arrested again when officers determined it wasn’t him.
A man claiming to be the person detained by police during the incident has posted on X that a woman mistook him for Khalife before raising the alarm.
He went on to say that after being interrogated for 20 minutes and giving his fingerprints, he was able to prove that he was not the escaped refugee.
Officers attacked a man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued their hunt for terror suspect Khalife
Daniel Khalife (pictured), a former soldier of the 22 Signal Regiment, was held on remand at HMP Wandsworth ahead of his six-week terror trial
Khalife, 21, was held on remand at HMP Wandsworth (pictured) awaiting trial in connection with terrorism and Offenses of the Official Secrets Act
While police handled a possible sighting, train passenger Oliver, in his twenties, waited outside the station while the incident took place.
Then, as the train pulled into the station, he was able to capture a clear image of a man who many believe bears a striking resemblance to 21-year-old Khalife.
Oliver said, ‘We passed through Banbury on our way to Basingstoke.
‘Just before we got there they said on the tannoy we couldn’t go to Banbury and they’re delaying the train because they think there’s an escaped terrorist at the station.
‘It was a 15 minute wait – when we pulled into the station he was right outside my window – it looked a lot like him.
“When we were waiting in Banbury I was a little worried at first, thinking about 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 little scary at first, but I’m glad they told us the right information because sometimes they withhold it.”
There have been no confirmed sightings of Khalife so far, with the ex-Royal Signals soldier said to be “resourceful” as he continues to refer to authorities.
Thames Valley Police said: ‘Officers have been dealing with a possible sighting of a wanted man at Banbury railway station this afternoon.
Dressed as a chef, the soldier-turned-spy served breakfast to his fellow inmates, then evaded guards and CCTV as the vehicle drove 800 feet down a back road.
Police admitted that Khalife’s “previous military experience” makes it more difficult to catch him, as he is likely to be “more aware of attempts to arrest him.”
“It was not the person we were looking for and the incident has been stopped. Thank you for your support at the time.’
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement from the Guardian: ‘We are aware that a man was apprehended by police in the Banbury area earlier today.
“We have been in contact with colleagues in Thames Valley and have confirmed that the man in question is not Daniel Khalife.”
Commander Dominic Murphy, who is leading the investigation, asked anyone with information on Khalife that could help us to contact them urgently.
He said: “Since yesterday, more than 150 officers and staff have been working around the clock to arrest Khalife.
“We have issued a nationwide alert that has resulted in increased security at our ports and borders, but there have been no confirmed sightings at this time.
“I recognize and am fully aware of the impact these measures will have on the public. We do our best to keep the inconvenience to a minimum.
“It is critical that the public assist us in this search and call us immediately if they have any information on Khalife’s whereabouts.”
The fugitive, described as slim built, with short brown hair and standing six feet tall, was said to be wearing a white T-shirt, striking red and white checked trousers and brown steel-toed boots, though police said so. the public should not focus on his clothes.
Murphy said at a briefing, “Obviously he could change those clothes really quickly, so I wouldn’t want to focus too much on that.”
Describing him as a ‘very resourceful individual’, he added: ‘Our experience with him shows that, so nothing is off the table with him at this point.
“This was a very busy part of London and we have had no confirmed sightings in that information, which is a bit unusual and perhaps a testament to Daniel Khalife’s ingenuity in his escape and some of his post-escape movements.
“It is important that we remember that here in Britain we have some of the best military in the world and that he has been trained.
“He was a trained soldier, so ultimately he has skills that some parts of the public may not have.”