The case of escaped prisoner Daniel Abed Khalife, who has now been captured again, is beginning to strike me as curious.
And not for the reasons everyone else thinks, which is his being able to escape Wandsworth Prison in a very quaint fashion and evading capture for several days.
At first, I wasn’t paying much attention to this story: even though the British media made it the primary news story for multiple days. It was only when I started trying to look into his background – in particular, the crimes he is said to be in prison for in the first place – that I started to wonder what we haven’t been told about this case and whether there’s more to this oddity than meets the eye.
While the major media was entirely focused on either the manhunt or the alleged details of his escape plan, much less coverage has looked at why he was in prison.
Well, here’s what’s curious.
Firstly, the former British army soldier, who has been referred to frequently as either a terrorist or ‘terror suspect’, hasn’t necessarily been found guilty yet. His trial isn’t happening until November.
But the part that really caught my attention is that Khalife’s initial arrest was actually on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act. He was given bail and allowed to go back to his army base: but was later also charged in relation to terrorism.
Of the two alleged terrorism incidents, one was apparently in August 2021 (interestingly, at the same time he was apparently arrested in relation to the Official Secrets Act), and the other in January 2023.
As for the terror charges specifically, as far as we can glean, he is accused of setting up fake bombs. As far as I’ve been able to ascertain from available information, there weren’t any real or live explosives: it was a hoax.
According to his appearance before Westminster Magistrates Court in February, he left the canisters with wires at MOD Stafford on January 2nd: his aim being “inducing in another the belief the item was likely to explode or ignite”.
Why was he planting *fake* bombs?
Was he just an unstable type? Was he an over-the-top prankster? Did he have a vendetta of some kind that he was acting out? It could be any of those things, or something else besides.
Though, if I’m honest, planting fake explosives makes me wonder about possible false-flag implications. But that’s probably just me.
And where does the Official Secrets Act come into it? It appears to relate to Khalife having allegedly collected information, including from the Ministry of Defense, that would be ‘useful to the enemy’ or that would be of use to terrorists.
The BBC, in one report, implied a suspected link to Iran: but it didn’t provide any details or any substantial reason for this claim. That idea has since been repeated elsewhere too.
But an alleged family member claims Khalife only visited Iran twice – once when he was a baby and again when he was about seven. The relative is quoted as saying: “Danny doesn’t know Iran, he loves this country. Two years ago he was quite happy, he said he never wanted to leave the army – he said they were good people and then something happened last year. He was scared to talk about it and so he ran away. I don’t believe the allegations…”
There isn’t really a conclusion or thesis here. Other than that the whole case seems odd.
We’re obviously missing some information, which may or may not come to light in the future. Though if the 21 year old is charged under the Official Secrets Act, specific details of his crime might not be disclosed.
Khalife otherwise doesn’t come across as an especially strange 21 year old. Media coverage has shown him a lot posing for selfies. There’s been talk of him being a ‘joker’, some coverage about him being ‘vain’ and always looking in the mirror, etc. One claim by a fellow inmate says Khalife boasted that he would be ‘famous’ one day.
I’m not sure how seriously to take any of this media profiling of the subject.
There also doesn’t appear to be any obvious proclivity towards terrorism or extremism. According to a source quoted by the BBC, “One thing I will tell you though, he’s not a terrorist. He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow…”
Again, I’m not forwarding any theory here. Only highlighting that the story is odd, and that the general narrative so far is definitely missing some key information or context.
And again, given the nature of the Official Secrets Act, that information might never become public: in which case, this will just be one of those perplexing stories that crops up every now and then and eventually gets forgotten about.
It’s worth noting also that, at the Old Bailey in July, the former engineer for the Royal Signal Corps, pleaded not guilty: both to the terrorism charge and the Official Secrets Act charge.
If he was aiming at fame and notoriety (as some sources claimed), denying guilt seems paradoxical.