Anneka Rice and Omid Djalili offer tongue-in-cheek advice for police hunting fugitive Daniel Khalife – as social media users joke ‘Gazza may turn up with some cans and a loaf’
- Celebrities and social media users share memes and jokes as hunt continues
- Follow our LIVE updates on the search for Daniel Abed Khalife
TV presenter Anneka Rice and comedian Omid Djalili are among those offering tongue-in-cheek advice to police hunting fugitive and suspected Iranian spy Daniel Khalife – as officers from the Met carry out intense searches of Richmond Park.
Khalife, 21, escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday, sparking huge searches for the terror suspect and fears that it had been pre-planned with help from inside the prison.
The Metropolitan Police said it had been searching Richmond Park in southwest London, around six miles from the jail, as part of the nationwide manhunt.
Rice, 64 – best known for her reality show Challenge Anneka which saw her undertake massive trials for good causes – led an array of lighthearted jokes on X, formerly known as Twitter, as searches continued.
The reality star appeared in the first series of Channel 4 programme Celebrity Hunted, which saw her and celebrities such as Gogglebox icons Steph and Dom try to evade military, police and intelligence service experts for charity.
Daniel Khalife escaped from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday by clinging to the underside of a delivery van
Anneka Rice posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet linking the search for Khalife at Richmond Park to her own experience of hiding in the green space on Celebrity Hunted
Comedian Omid Djalili joked about the suspected Iranian spy enjoying Richmond Park’s attractions – while plugging a local comedy night
Another tweet referenced Paul Gascoigne turning up at the scene of a police siege with chicken and a fishing rod in a misguided attempt to help
READ MORE: Fugitive ‘Iranian spy’ Daniel Khalife: The class joker at Keira Knightley’s school who loved YouTubers and dreamed of being a cyberwarrior – and boasted to fellow prisoners that he was ‘going to be famous’
She evaded capture until the close of the series – and her early efforts to flee from London saw her hide in Richmond Park, where the Met has been searching for Khalife.
In a tweet posted this morning, with a photograph of her taken in London as she was on the run, Rice wrote: ‘Note for police! On Celebrity Hunted I hid in Richmond Park.
‘Then a stranger drove me to the south coast. I hid under a large bass guitar at Dire Straits’ John Ilsley’s house.
‘Then he took me in his speed boat to the Isle of Wight where I hid under some garlic. You’re very welcome.’
Comedian Omid Djalili, meanwhile, joked about the park’s best-known attractions – and a nearby comedy night.
He wrote: ‘Police are searching for the escaped terror suspect Daniel Abed Khalife in parkland in south-west London, not far from the prison from which he absconded, officers have said.
‘Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park a suspected hideout. Last seen having lunch at Pembroke Lodge.
‘Believed to have bought a ticket for Headliners Comedy Club tonight. Police have arrested Stephen K Amos just to be on the safe side.’
Another X user posted a meme referencing footballer Paul Gascoigne, who turned up at a police stand-off with killer Raoul Moat in 2010 in a misguided attempt to defuse the situation.
They wrote: ‘BREAKING: Gazza has turned up to Richmond Park with fishing rods & chicken claiming to be a friend of Daniel Khalife’.
A police-issued mugshot of Daniel Khalife. He was discharged from the Army in May
Police in Richmond Park, south-west London on Friday. Searches of the park were carried out overnight as officers continue to look for fugitive Khalife
Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told LBC on Friday it was ‘extremely concerning’ that Khalife was on the loose – and has not ruled out the theory that he had help from the inside
A retired police sergeant who features on the show Hunted says the UK has the ‘best military in the world’ – and has suggested that Khalife’s military training might actually help him evade capture.
Mel Thomas, who is a ground hunter on the thrilling Channel 4 series, says the suspected spy’s ‘resilience’ will come into play as he tries to remain out of sight.
Mr Thomas, 54, told the PA News agency: ‘What you’ve got to consider is that we consider ourselves to have the best military in the world, so he’s had the best training – you can’t dispute that.
‘Because you’re no longer in the Army or in the armed forces, it doesn’t mean you become untrained overnight, that experience is always with you.
‘What the organisations have got against them is it’s good weather, it’s not cold at night, so even sleeping rough is not going to be uncomfortable.
‘You could happily find somewhere comfortable and, as an ex-military individual, he’ll be used to sleeping outside.
‘What will come into play more than anything else will be the individual’s resilience.’
Mr Thomas said it is a ‘needle in the haystack’ case, and the key to finding Khalife is how quickly members of the public report potential sightings.
‘The biggest thing is 70 million separate CCTV you have in the country, and that’s the members of the public,’ he added.
‘It’s all about people dropping those little clues, those traces that the organisations can pick up on and follow. It’s very similar to Hunted and Celebrity Hunted.
‘If there’s a sighting in a town and we get to that town very quickly, and those people haven’t moved away because they don’t know they’ve been spotted, that gives us more opportunities to catch them.
‘And it’s the same when someone is on the run.’
The food truck Daniel Khalife is believed to have used for his escape from HMP Wandsworth
HMP Wandsworth, where Daniel Khalife had been kept while awaiting trial on terror charges
Met Police chiefs, meanwhile, say that Khalife’s escape from Wandsworth on Wednesday was ‘clearly pre-planned’ – and fear he may have had help on the inside.
Sir Mark Rowley, commissioner of the Met, branded it ‘extremely concerning’ that the 21-year-old, who was able to sneak out of HMP Wandsworth in south west London on Wednesday, was ‘on the loose’.
Khalife, an ex-soldier who was awaiting trial after allegedly planting a fake bomb at an RAF base and gathering information that might be useful to terrorists or enemies of the UK, was discharged from the Army in May.
He is believed to have escaped by strapping himself on to the bottom of a delivery lorry after leaving the prison kitchen in a cook’s uniform.
Sir Mark told LBC: ‘It is clearly pre-planned, the fact that he could strap himself onto the bottom of the wagon.’
The hunt for Khalife is a ‘massive operation’ involving ‘well into three figures of officers’ as well as help from constabularies around the country and Border Force, the Commissioner told the radio station.
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