Police tracking escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife accidentally arrested a ‘lookalike’ at an Oxfordshire train station, with the arrest caught on camera by a member of the public.
Officers attacked the man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued to search for the terrorist suspect Khalife, who escaped from HMP Wandsworth tied under a delivery van early Wednesday morning.
It is understood that the man police thought may have been the fugitive former soldier was arrested and later dismissed when officers established it was not in fact him.
A man claiming to be the person arrested by police in the incident posted on X to say a woman mistook him for Khalife before sounding the alarm.
He added that after being interrogated for 20 minutes and being fingerprinted, he was able to prove he was not the escapee.
Officers attacked a man at Banbury station earlier today as they continued to search for the terrorist suspect Khalife.
Daniel Khalife (pictured), a former soldier with the 22nd Signal Regiment, was remanded to HMP Wandsworth ahead of his six-week terrorism trial.
Khalife, 21, was remanded to HMP Wandsworth (pictured) awaiting trial on charges of terrorism and breaches of the Official Secrets Act
As police dealt with a possible sighting, train passenger Oliver, in his 20s, had to wait outside the station while the incident took place.
When the train then pulled into the station, it was able to snap a clear picture of a man who many believe shares a striking similarity to 21-year-old Khalife.
Oliver said: “We drove through Banbury towards Basingstoke.
“Just before we arrived they said on the tannoy that we couldn’t go to Banbury and they delayed the train as they believe there is a terrorist on the loose at the station.
“It was a 15 minute wait. When we got to the station, he was right outside my window. It looked a lot like him.”
“When we were waiting at Banbury I was a little worried at first, I was thinking a lot of things: is he on the track, is he trying to get on the train, what will happen. “
“It was a little intimidating at first, but I’m glad they gave us the correct information, because sometimes they hide it.”
So far there have been no confirmed sightings of Khalife, with the former Royal Signals soldier being branded as ‘resourceful’ as he continues to hint at the authorities.
Thames Valley Police said: ‘Officers were faced with a possible sighting of a wanted man at Banbury Station this afternoon.
Dressed as a chef, the alleged soldier-turned-spy served breakfast to fellow inmates, then evaded guards and surveillance cameras as the vehicle drove 250 meters along an interior road.
Met Police admitted that Khalife’s “previous military experience” could make him harder to catch, as he is likely to be “more aware of efforts to apprehend him”.
“He was not the person we were looking for and the incident has been closed. Thank you for your support at this time.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement reported by the Guardian: “We are aware that a man was arrested by police in the Banbury area earlier today.
“We have contacted colleagues in Thames Valley and confirmed that the man in question is not Daniel Khalife.”
Commander Dominic Murphy, who is leading the investigation, has asked anyone with information about Khalife who could help us to contact us urgently.
He said: “Since yesterday, more than 150 officers and staff have been working around the clock to apprehend Khalife.
“We have issued a nationwide alert which has resulted in heightened security at our ports and borders, but at this time no sightings have been confirmed.”
“I recognize and am fully aware of the impact these measures have on the public. We are working to ensure as little disruption as possible.
“It is crucial 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 being of slim build, with short brown hair and 6ft 2in tall, is said to be wearing a white T-shirt, distinctive red and white checkered pants and brown steel-toed boots, although the Met police said the public shouldn’t focus on their clothes.
Murphy said during a briefing, “He could clearly change those clothes very quickly, so I wouldn’t want to focus on that too much.”
He described him as a “very resourceful individual”, adding: “Our experience with him shows that, so nothing is out of the question with him at the moment.
“It was a very busy part of London and we haven’t had any confirmed sightings in any of this information, which is a little unusual and perhaps indicative of the ingenuity of Daniel Khalife in his escape and some of his movements after his escape.”
“It’s important for us to remember that we have here in the UK some of the best armies in the world and he has been trained.”
“He was a trained soldier – so at the end of the day he has skills that some layers of the public may not have.”