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British police charge recaptured terrorism suspect with unlawful escape

LONDON (Reuters) - British police on Sunday charged an ex-soldier suspected of terrorism offences with unlawfully escaping from custody, after he was recaptured following four days on the run, having absconded from a London jail.

Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, who worked in the kitchen of Wandsworth prison, slipped out on Monday morning by strapping himself to the underside of a food delivery truck, authorities say.

He was recaptured in west London on Saturday while cycling alongside a canal.

"A man who was arrested after escaping from HMP Wandsworth has been charged," the Metropolitan Police said. "Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 11 September."

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Khalife, who was discharged from the British army in May, was charged with escaping "contrary to common law" while being remanded in custody. He had been held pending trial on offences relating to terrorism and the Official Secrets Act.

He is accused of eliciting or trying to elicit information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism while he was based at barracks in central England in 2021, and staging a bomb hoax by placing three canisters with wires on a desk.

He had also been charged with obtaining information which might be "directly or indirectly useful to an enemy". The BBC has reported he was accused of gathering intelligence for Iran.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Peter Graff)