Escaped terror suspect ‘inspired by Paddington 2 movie’ social media users claim

A terror suspect who broke out of a UK prison was "inspired by Paddington 2", social media users have claimed.

Daniel Abed Khalife, 22, escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday morning (September 6) while awaiting trial for terror and Official Secrets Act offences, the Metropolitan Police said.

The escaped inmate, who had served in the British Army, slipped out of the southwest London penitentiary undetected by clinging upside down to the underside of a delivery truck, prompting a "national incident" that has seen security tightened at UK airports.

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

Social media users couldn't help but notice the similarities between Khalife's jailbreak and the daring prison bust in the second Paddington Bear film.

One highlighted that Paddington escaped "dressed as a chef", while kitchen worker Khalife disappeared through the prison's delivery area after serving up breakfast to his fellow lags.

Another took to X (formerly Twitter) and said of the ex-military man's escape method: "Plotting your prison escape by watching Paddington 2".

But while social media users were able to see the funny side of the prison break, security bosses weren't laughing.

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"This sounds like something which could have happened at Colditz rather than a modern prison. It makes the prison service look like a laughing stock," ex-Met Police commander John O’Connor told The Sun.

"It is utterly ridiculous he managed to escape so easily with such a basic old-fashioned ploy. Escaping by clinging to the underside of a van is the sort of thing you see in old World War Two films."

A manhunt was launched after Khalife's disappearance was noticed and the prison went into lockdown, but staff and police were unable to locate him.

A "national incident" has since been declared and 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, as the Daily Star reported yesterday.

Khalife was 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-solider, who was stationed at Beacon Barracks in Beaconside, Stafford, is accused of taking soldier details from the MoD personnel files as well as carrying out a bomb hoax after he allegedly left "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.

He has links to the Kingston-upon-Thames and it is thought he probably remains in the London area, although he may have travelled further afield.

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 Metropolitan 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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