Daniel Khalife

The 75-hour manhunt for Daniel Khalife had the state and its media on red alert. The 21-year-old ex-British soldier, deemed a “terror suspect”, escaped Wandsworth prison in south London on Wednesday of last week. Ex-cops and military officials fretted about “an inside job” and the escape being masterminded by Khalife and the Iranian government.

Khalife was in prison accused of eliciting information that could be useful for a terrorist. He was also said to have breached the Official Secrets Act by gathering information that could be useful to an enemy—reportedly Iran. The former soldier was also accused of planting fake bombs—not real ones—in his army barracks, but has denied all charges.

Amid the will they-won’t they catch him stories, huge fuss was made about the fact his parents had Iranian heritage. The media plastered his full name “Daniel Abed Khalife” in an Islamophobic attempt to scaremonger. Cops and counter‑terrorism officers hyped up the threat Khalife would cause.

Calls have already come from both the Tories and Labour to “secure” prisons even further and make them even harsher to keep people on the streets “safe”. The state will use Khalife’s escape to plough more money into an already failing prison system and as an excuse to ramp up state powers. Both have to be resisted.

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