Now Reading
Heathrow Immigration Queues Top Two and Half Hours as Terror Checks Continue Admid ‘Urgent’ Fugitive Search

Heathrow Immigration Queues Top Two and Half Hours as Terror Checks Continue Admid ‘Urgent’ Fugitive Search

a man in an airport

Wait times to clear immigration at Terminal 4 of Heathrow Airport topped two and half hours on Thursday evening as counter terrorism police continued an ‘urgent’ search to hunt down a fugitive wanted on terror charges who escaped from prison on Wedesday morning.

The Metropolitan Police Search said Thursday that 150 officers from its specialist Counter Terrorism Command were now involved in the search for 21-year-old Daniel Abed Khalife, who escaped from Wandsworth Prison at approximately 7:50 am on Wednesday morning.

Khalife’s escape from the Category B prison in South West London prompted a nationwide security alert at airports across the United Kingdom. In a rare move, police and border officials are conducting embarkation checks on all passengers leaving or transiting through UK airports.

Unlike many other countries, passengers departing airports such as London Heathrow don’t have to present their passports to a border guard because embarkation checks are conducted automatically via the advanced passenger information that has to be submitted before or at the time of check-in.

The UK Border Force has had to divert officers away from arrival channels to help carry out manual embarkation checks in an attempt to prevent Khalife from slipping out of the country using a fake passport.

“We have issued a nationwide alert that has resulted in increased security at our ports and borders, however currently there have not been any confirmed sightings,” commented Commander Dominic Murphy of the Met’s Terrorism Command as pressure grew on the force to track down Khalife.

Khalife, an ex-soldier, was being held in HMP Wandsworth on a slew of terrorism offences and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

“I recognise and am fully aware of the impact these measures are having on the public. We are working to ensure as minimal disruption as possible,” Commander Murphy continued.

“It is crucial for the public to help us with this search and to call us immediately if they have any information on the whereabouts of Khalife.”

Heathrow Airport said it was taking passengers more than two and a half hours to clear immigration at Terminal 4 on Thursday evening as the search for Khalife intensified. The queue at Terminal 5 and Terminal 3 was more than an hour.

Khalife is believed to have escaped prison by crawling under a delivery van and hanging onto the undercarriage as it drove out of the prison. Police have located the delivery and found strapping underneath the van, which they believed Khalife hung onto.

The public has been advised not to approach Khalife if they see him but to call 999 immediately.

View Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.