The senior police officer in the United Kingdom said on Friday that an investigation into how a terror suspect escaped from prison would look into whether he received assistance.
Daniel Abed Khalife, a former soldier, is believed to have fastened himself to the underside of a delivery lorry to escape Wandsworth prison on Wednesday.
His absence prompted a nationwide manhunt and an all-ports alert to keep him from fleeing the country.
On Friday morning, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley announced that the search had been narrowed down to the enormous Richmond Park in Wandsworth in south London.
He told LBC radio in an interview that the escape was “clearly pre-planned”.
“The fact he could strap himself onto the bottom of the wagon, I mean, there’s obviously some logistics involved inside,” he said.
“Just to work out a prison escape and how you can do the logistics of it and get the right equipment and how you’re going to do it is unlikely to be something you do on the spur of the moment.”
Khalife’s escape has prompted wider questions about security at UK prisons, which staff say have been hit by under-funding and personnel shortages.
Asked if it might have been an “inside job”, Rowley said:
“We’re going to have a look at everything as part of this investigation.”
Khalife went on trial for two occurrences at the Royal Air Force (RAF) facility in Stafford, central England, near his army barracks.
In August 2021, he was charged with “attempting to elicit information of a type likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”
He was also charged with a bomb hoax after allegedly planting a suspect device at the RAF base on January 2 of this year. In May, he was released from the service.