Infamous YouTuber ‘Lord Miles’ Among UK Nationals Detained by the Taliban

The self-styled dark tourist has been seen in his videos joining a Taliban parade and firing guns with militants.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
miles routledge
Miles Routledge (pictured) was airlifted out of Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover  in 2021, and posted videos of his experience on Facebook and 4Chan. Photo: Facebook

Three U.K. nationals are being held in Taliban custody—among them an infamous 23-year-old YouTuber who “[goes] to the most dangerous places on Earth for fun”—according to a humanitarian NGO which released details of the men’s detention over the weekend.

Miles Routledge, otherwise known by the online moniker Lord Miles, attracted global notoriety in 2021 when he took a “holiday” to Afghanistan shortly before the Taliban takeover. He was subsequently airlifted out of the country by the British Army during the fall of Kabul in August of that year, securing a highly sought after seat on an evacuation flight while thousands of Afghans who had worked alongside Western coalition forces were left behind. 


Routledge posted videos and updates to Facebook and 4Chan at the time, and later returned to Afghanistan where he filmed YouTube videos in which he joined a Taliban parade and fired guns with Taliban militants. The notorious YouTuber and self-styled dark tourist has more than 150,000 followers on Twitter. His last activity on the platform was on Feb. 28.

He is now one of three men being held by Taliban secret police, along with 53-year-old charity medic Kevin Cornwell and another unidentified U.K. national who manages a hotel in Kabul, according to Sky News.

Both Cornwell and the unnamed hotelier were arrested in a raid by officers from the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) on Jan. 11, after Taliban agents accused Cornwell of having an illegal firearm in a safe in his room at the Darya Village Hotel. 

The reasons for Routledge’s arrest are as yet unclear. A senior European diplomatic source told The Telegraph that he was arrested on March 2, along with two Polish nationals, and is being held for questioning.

Scott Richards, a negotiator who works for British humanitarian NGO the Presidium Network and is supporting the families of Cornwell and the hotel manager, told Sky News that while there “has been no meaningful contact” with the men, he believes they’re safe.

“We do believe they are in good health and being well treated,” Richards said. “We have no reason to believe they've been subject to sort of any negative treatment, such as torture. And we're told that they are as good as can be expected in such circumstances.”

A spokesperson for Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) told Reuters: “We are working hard to secure consular contact with British nationals detained in Afghanistan and we are supporting families.”

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