British 'danger tourist' is 'living in luxury' friend claims

British 'danger tourist' is 'living in luxury' friend claims

September 27, 2023

Brit ‘danger tourist’ Lord Miles who was arrested by Taliban in Afghanistan is ‘alive… and VERY well’: Daredevil is ‘living in luxury – and is even planning to open a gold mine after befriending his Islamist captors’, thrillseeker’s ‘friend’ claims on X

  • The friend said the ‘prison’ is more like a hotel as Miles has access to an Xbox

The British ‘danger tourist’ who was arrested by the Taliban’ secret police is alive and ‘living in luxury’ after befriending his captors, a ‘trusted friend’ of his ‘who talks to him regularly’ has claimed. 

During the past few months in ‘prison’ in Afghanistan, Miles Routledge, also known as Lord Miles, is said to have been in talks with Taliban officials over a gold mine, as he apparently has ‘picnics and dinners with higher ups’. 

The 23-year-old from Birmingham was arrested on March 2 by fighters from the extremist Islamic group, that once again controls Afghanistan, alongside two Polish nationals – updates on his whereabouts since then have been few and far between.

Using Lord Miles’ X, formerly known as Twitter, account today, the friend posted a thread on his wellbeing: ‘Miles is in a guesthouse and not an actual prison so he’s very comfortable.’ 

The anonymous friend added the ‘prison’ is more like a hotel, as Miles has access to an Xbox, orders takeaways and has a ‘servant’. According to the friend the Taliban are fans of Lord Miles’ book and think he’s a ‘goofy guy’. 

‘Danger tourist’ Miles Routledge from Birmingham was arrested on March 2 by fighters from the extremist Islamic group 

During the past few months in ‘prison’ Miles Routledge is said to have been in talks with Taliban officials over a gold mine, as he apparently has ‘picnics and dinners with higher ups’

Using Lord Miles’ X, formerly known as Twitter , account today, the friend posted a thread on his wellbeing

In the thread the friend said he can’t post photos of Miles ‘for obvious reasons’ and said this could lead to speculation that ‘he’s dead’. But added that people ‘have no idea what Lord Miles is capable of thriving in’. 

The thrillseeker’s friend said: ‘At first, like all of you, I was worried he was struggling in some bad place but then he described how the Taliban like the Titanic movie and Rambo 3.’

He added that Miles is writing his second book titled: ‘Lord Miles’ holiday in Taliban prison’. 

This is the first update in months Miles’ followers have had. The friend continued: ‘If he wants eggs, his servants buy him eggs, if he doesn’t like a dish, he gets pizza.

‘When we called him he said “lovely holiday”. 

‘When we learnt of his hotel like conditions Miles then said “I’ll consider British ambassador to Afghanistan if the King asks nicely”.’

According to the unnamed friend, Miles is also said to be filming YouTube videos whilst in ‘prison’. 

Miles’ next steps are said to be to New York City after he is made ‘rich’ by the gold mine, according to the friend. 

The last photo of the former physics student before he was held shows him giving the thumbs up while standing next to a member of the Taliban who is holding an automatic rifle.

Accompanying the photograph – which was sent from his phone or laptop on March 8th – was a short message downplaying the seriousness of his plight, even though the Taliban are notorious for torturing and murdering prisoners.

Routledge wrote: ‘Yo guys, been taken by Afghan intelligence for taking like $1,000 out of Western Union (sus amount). No internet, no idea when this will send, everything is good but please excuse my lack of communication.’

MailOnline has obtained the final picture he took before being held which shows the 23-year-old Miles Routledge (left) giving the thumbs up while standing next to a member of the Taliban who is holding an automatic rifle

He added: ‘It will be a few days of questioning.’

A friend who received the photo told MailOnline they have had no further communication from Routledge since his message was posted to his subscriber only blogging site on March 8.

The friend, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I am now very worried for Miles. No one has heard anything from him in weeks after he said he was being arrested for withdrawing money from a Western Union.

‘He had uploaded the message on March the 2 to the Patreon account I subscribe to, but it did not arrive until March 8 early in the morning when it is likely he re-established some internet access.

‘We do not know if he sent it or someone else had access to the internet and switched on his phone. We know from the time stamp on the photograph it was uploaded on March 2.

Fears for Routledge’s safety have increased as he is usually very active on social media and has not been able to contact any of his friends for over a month.

The Taliban have not confirmed that he is being held prisoner but aid workers in Kabul are aware he is a captive.

Routledge’s family have previously said they have no idea if he is safe or why he is being held.

One of Miles’s friends, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I am now very worried for Miles. No one has heard anything from him in weeks after he said he was being arrested for withdrawing money from a Western Union. Miles is pictured with meeting a Taliban fighter for one of his YouTube videos 

The 23-year-old shared footage of himself shooting an assault rifle given to him by a Taliban fighter. The video has since notched up more than a million views on Miles’s YouTube channel

The former physics student’s mother previously told MailOnline she has no idea of his whereabouts as her only contact is from following his social media postings.

‘Of course, I am very worried, but I do not know anything or what has happened to him,’ Susan Routledge said.

‘No one has been in contact with me. I have not been contacted by the Foreign Office or anyone. I just hope that he is safe, and nothing happens to him.’

Routledge, who boasts on his YouTube channel of visiting the most dangerous places on earth ‘for fun’, travelled to Afghanistan against Foreign Office advice.

He was seized by the Taliban alongside Adrian Wojcik, 22, and Roman Bilsi, 24, who are understood to have entered the country with him.

Two other British nationals are also currently being held by the Taliban after being arrested earlier this year. Charity medic Kevin Cornwell, 53, and an unnamed British hotel manager have been in prison since January.

The pair – who were held after a licensed gun was found in a safe in Cornwell’s hotel bedroom – have been allowed to contact relatives back in the UK by phone.

Thumbs up: Routledge, who boasts on his YouTube channel of visiting the most dangerous places on earth ‘for fun’, travelled to Afghanistan against Foreign Office advice.

Unconfirmed reports from a Twitter account linked to the Taliban claimed Routledge was suspected of being a spy.

According to an organisation calling themselves the Taliban Public Relations Commentary, Routledge is being held on suspicion of espionage and ‘serving the notorious criminal organisation MI5’.

The Taliban PR is not an official mouthpiece of the country’s rulers but have been posting about Routledge since March 15 and first suggested he was last seen in an area close to the Chinese border on March 6.

It is not known what they are basing their information on or if they have any access to Government officials or members of the GSI – General Directorate of Intelligence – the Taliban secret police.

In one tweet the group said Routledge, who uses the moniker Lord Miles for his online postings, was being held with two other Britons, two Polish nationals and 16 Afghans.

The group said one of their members attempted to see Routledge but was turned away by his captors.

In a tweet the group said: ‘Ahmad (a member of the Taliban PR) travelled to the location where Miles is being held but was refused access. He was assured that he was being well looked after. There is not much our department can do apart from publishing information.’

The tweet ended with ‘We pray that there is a positive conclusion to the case.’

Routledge appears to be known to the group as they had previously praised him for an earlier visit.

Danger tourist: Miles is pictured dangling off the gun of a Russian tank with its ‘Z’ insignia on it during one of his trips abroad 

Foreign Office officials have confirmed they are working hard to secure consular contact with the three British nationals in Afghanistan.

In videos posted to his YouTube subscribers and on his Twitter account Routledge had talked about buying Taliban ‘merchandise’ and later selling it after leaving the country.

He was last known to have been in Afghanistan seven months ago where he posted a series of videos, including visiting a market in Jalalabad to look at the guns that were on sale.

Another video featured him firing a semi-automatic weapon and posing for photos with what he called the ‘Talibro.’

He claimed in the video that he had entered the country on a fake US passport.

Routledge, a former physics student at Loughborough University, was previously branded an ‘idiot’ after he flew to the Afghan capital when US and UK forces were pulling out in 2021.

He boasted to his followers that he was given the last tourist visa by the Afghan Government before they fled and handed control of the country back to the feared Taliban.

He was evacuated from the country at a cost of tens of thousands to the taxpayer and accused of needlessly taking up a seat on a flight to Dubai at the expense of others fleeing the brutal regime.

Undeterred by criticism, Routledge wrote a book about his experiences called ‘Lord Miles in Afghanistan’.

His latest trip appears to have been funded by donations to him on the Patreon site where bloggers can charge for their content to fund his trips abroad.

Miles charges from £3 a month to £19 a month for access.

Last year he travelled to the Ukraine and also war-torn Sudan with videos posted to YouTube detailing his experiences in the danger zones.

Mr Cornwell, from Middlesbrough, had been in Afghanistan for 11 months working as a medic for Iqarus International, which provides free healthcare to local people.

Charity medic Kevin Cornwell (pictured),53, and an unnamed British hotel manager are among the other prisoners being held by the Taliban

It’s believed Miles was detained by the Taliban’s ruthless secret police on March of this year. He is pictured on one of his earlier trips to Afghanistan 

He was arrested in a raid at his hotel by officers from the General Directorate of Intelligence on January 11.

He is accused of having an illegal firearm in the safe in his room at the Darya Village Hotel, despite having a permit from the Taliban government.

A non-profit organisation called Presidium Network that works in conflict zones are supporting the families of the two men. The organisation has no contact with Routledge’s family.

Its founder Scott Richards, an experienced negotiator, cast doubt on the claim that Routledge was accused of being a spy.

He said: ‘Claims made by a particular Twitter account to this effect should not be taken with any authority. Although it refers to itself as a PR fo the Taliban – it is not an official account of the IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan).

‘Speculative and sensational comments by unofficial sources are not conductive to helping any individual detained.’

The UK withdrew embassy and consular staff in 2021 and the Foreign Office continues to advise citizens against all travel to Afghanistan based on the security risks involved, including the possibility of detention by the Taliban authorities. 

Student who has visited the world’s most dangerous places is being held by Taliban secret police – as his mother says ‘he just wanted to find himself’ on his travels 


He is the notorious ‘danger tourist’ who has filmed himself shooting with the Taliban and sauntering around Ukraine ‘on holiday’ days after Russia invaded it.

But now thrill-seeking YouTuber Miles Routledge, 23, finds himself a hostage of the Taliban’s brutal secret police, caged in an Afghan jail having been arrested last month.

The former physics student from Birmingham is one of three Britons locked up by the ruthless regime, who the UK Government is now negotiating with. 

It’s the first time the social media star, dubbed ‘Lord Miles’, has found himself jailed during his ‘self-destructive’ jaunts to the world’s most deadly areas – which include South Sudan and Brazil’s lethal ‘Snake Island’.

Bragging to his 151,000-strong army of online fans, Miles says he travels to the ‘most dangerous places on Earth for fun’. But his mother – now wracked with worry over his incarceration – insists he is just trying to ‘find himself’.

Miles Routledge travelled to Afghanistan in 2021 on a tourist visa for ‘fun’. Now he has been detained by the ruthless Taliban secret police. He is pictured on one of his tours of Afghanistan

He visited Afghanistan back in the summer of 2021 as the Taliban were retaking the country following the shambolic withdrawal of American forces. During his time there, he posed with an assault rifle he claimed he had been given by the SAS

‘He keeps travelling because he loves it, he’s only young and he’s just finding himself after finishing university. I just want him to keep safe,’ a tearful Susan Routledge, 64, said of the former Loughborough University student. 

In August 2021, Mr Routledge sparked fury after travelling to Afghanistan for ‘a holiday’ as it fell into the hands of the Taliban. 

He went against Foreign Office advice at the time not to travel to the ‘extremely volatile country’, which was plunged into chaos following the shambolic withdrawal of US forces after two decades of war. 

During the carnage, Miles said he found his way into a NATO compound where he claimed he was invited to hold an assault rifle by ‘tipsy British SAS soldiers’. 

Other clips of his trips to the country showed him blasting automatic rifles with a Taliban fighter and visiting a weapons market in the city of Jalalabad, a stronghold for terrorists affiliated to Islamic State. 

The social media star was later evacuated out of Kabul on a British military flight to Dubai, smirking as he left the tarmac alongside desperate Afghans. 

But when news broke the student had essentially gone for jolly though a warzone, he was branded an ‘idiot’ by critics online.  

However, the Afghanistan saga was just the beginning of a ‘career’ for Miles – one that’s been described at best as foolhardy and at most brazenly inappropriate. 

Miles travelled around Kabul in the days before the Taliban took charge of the country, documenting his journey online to his army of followers

He was eventually airlifted out of the country after the Taliban took control – but he was slammed for his trip, with critics branding him an ‘idiot’

A young Miles: The adventurer shared a picture of himself as a child on his Twitter weeks before he was arrested by the Taliban

Since his Kabul compound days, the self-described ‘British supremacist’, has travelled to a host of dangerous places – ostensibly for ‘war journalism and charity.’

Shortly after returning back from Afghanistan, Miles set his sights on Kazakhstan which was undergoing a period of civil unrest due to energy price hikes. 

With Russian militia patrolling the streets on ‘shoot to kill’ orders, Miles shared pictures to his followers of him smiling in the snow.

Then, just before Christmas in 2021, he jetted off to the war-torn nation of South Sudan, in Africa. 

Arriving in Juba after first flying to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, he claimed he was offered a tribal wife and quipped: ‘I can honestly say I prefer it to London in many ways’.

Miles was invited to the country by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan.

He told the Times he wanted to visit Sudan because he had heard the country was ‘chaotic’ and wanted to experience it for himself.    

Miles flew to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia before catching a second plane to Juba in South Sudan, according to his Twitter profile

Then aged 21, he claimed he wanted to visit Sudan because he had heard the country was ‘chaotic’ and wanted to experience it for himself

The Birmingham youngster was invited to the nation by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan. He later spent several weeks hiking in Uganda before crossing into Kenya to visit a fan

He added he had twice tried to travel to the north of the country but was stopped by soldiers – including children brandishing AK47s.  

Mr Routledge claimed he was offered a Sudanese wife and a new name by a remote tribe, that he did not identify. 

He also claimed to have heard gunshots going off at night, in scenes reminiscent of his time in Afghanistan, though the reports were rubbished online. 

Shortly afterwards in February 2022 with tensions in Eastern Europe at breaking point, Miles travelled to Ukraine just as Putin’s troops invade.

He reportedly spent £6 to go from Poland to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on February 25 – less than a day after Russian’s launched their murderous assault. 

Tweeting about his exploits, Miles wrote: ‘It’s official. Tintin goes to Ukraine, he’s on the train’ and has since been tweeting about his alleged journey.

The fearless traveller said Ukraine was still ‘safer than London or Birmingham’ at the time and previously boasted of visiting the country in 2019 to see Chernobyl – the site of the world’s most deadly nuclear meltdown disaster in 1986. 

He even claimed to have shouted at invading Russian troops while wearing a mask of Russian despot Vladimir Putin on his face and that ‘friendly’ Ukrainian troops in Donetsk had given him a military uniform to wear. 

Miles said he travelled to Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February 2022 and was gifted a Ukrainian army uniform. He also claimed he shouted at Russians wearing a Vladimir Putin mask

Mr Routledge previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May 2021 saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine

Speaking to MailOnline about his trip, Miles said: ‘I’ve been to Ukraine before so I’m hoping to see something new.

‘I want to see the war. I want to see the feelings of both sides, their opinions and hopefully I’ll see the critical point of the conflict, if it is to come.’

His jaunt, which only lasted a few days, saw him sharing pictures and videos from a shell-shocked Kyiv, while he hid in bomb shelters.

He claimed to distribute charity to the vulnerable during his efforts and alleged Ukrainian soldiers confused him for a Russian spy.

But as with his ill-fated Afghanistan trip, Miles was accused of exploiting human tragedy for attention.

However, he dismissed those critics and said: ‘I’d say I wish them all the best but truthfully they were never my audience and for every seething comment made against me, behind it was my friends and I eating popcorn and laughing at them.

‘I’ll continue to travel regardless of their opinions, I’ll even go back to Afghanistan and there’s nothing they can do about it.’ 

The self-declared danger tourist has been to Ukraine before, when he visited Chernobyl. He told MailOnline: ‘I’ve been Ukraine before so I’m hoping to see something new’

Mr Routledge has said he has also spent time in Kazakhstan (pictured), South Sudan and Afghanistan

And go back he did. In April 2022, he claimed to have invested £15,000 in a trip to the Taliban-controlled country to rescue a tour guide and his family – but accused the guide of pulling out at the last minute, leaving him stuck.

Miles was forced to beg for money to continue the trip online – which he said was used for charity work in Kabul instead – while posting self-serving status updates about how his life has been ‘ruined’.

In one such update last year, he wrote: ‘[This] means I can’t go on a date with a girl I really liked, it means I can’t sponsor a joint adventure with my friend, I will go home to an empty room. I am at my end.’

He departed on April 21 – describing himself as ‘the only white person on the plane’ – before ‘walking 25km in a single day’ towards his destination.

Four days later he arrived in Pakistan where the plan dramatically fell apart when the ‘tour guide’ he claimed to be helping pulled out.

Miles claimed he was left stranded in Pakistan after a trip to ‘save the lives’ of an Afghan tour guide and his family fell apart

Later, the former physics student at Loughborough University, posted videos of himself firing weapons with Taliban fighters

Miles, from Birmingham, boasts to his thousands of followers online that he travels ‘to the most dangerous places on Earth for fun’

Mr Routledge (right) had recently returned to Afghanistan, filming videos shooting guns with Taliban troops, despite having to be evacuated from a ‘holiday’ in the country in 2021

‘So bloody p****d, the person I’ve planned to save for seven months lied to me saying the border is closed for British people,’ he wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

Later, in September 2022, the ‘professional explorer’ released clips of his latest trip to Afghanistan, which showed him blasting automatic rifles with a Taliban fighter.  

In the video – which has been watched more than a million times – Miles is seen firing the weapon indiscriminately into the sand flanked by grinning members of the Taliban, or as Miles calls them: ‘Good guys.’

Grinning as the recoil hits him in the shoulder, he says: ‘I like this’, before firing off another round into the sky. 

Later, he shows off a trip to the a weapons market in the city of Jalalabad, a stronghold for terrorists affiliated to Islamic State. 

Other videos on his YouTube channel picture him attempting to spend 48 hours homeless in New York city and touring Uganda.

While in another he filmed himself at the Mexican border as illegal immigrants attempted to cross into the United States.

He captured the moment a family of four Venezuelans – two men and two young children – crossed the Rio Grande River into America.

The men wade through the river carrying the boy and girl on their shoulders as Miles watches from the bank, filming.

‘Oh man, please don’t go bad. I can feel it. This is not a good moment. He’s got kids as well,’ he says.

During one of his videos on his YouTube account, Miles filmed himself at the US/Mexico border and captured the moment a family, reportedly from Venezuela, crossed into America

He records a family of four Venezuela – two men and two young children – who are attempting to cross the Rio Grande River into America

The ‘professional explorer’ says in the description of one YouTube video, ‘I do the most heinous stuff on the planet’ and claims to be ‘no longer welcome’ in Kenya.

He even wrote a book of his experience, titled Lord Miles In Afghanistan, a ‘first-hand account of his first and most infamous trip’ to the country.

The blurb states: ‘Miles experiences a fascinating kaleidoscope of natural beauty, war-torn desolation, poverty, humanity, courage, and generosity.

‘He finds himself in many places off the beaten path and meets a colorful range of characters. Throughout it all, his eternal optimism and indomitable faith ensure an invigorating narration for this unique journey.’

In his last video on YouTube before being captured by the Taliban, Miles filmed his journey to the notorious ‘Snake Island’ off the coast of Brazil. 

The isolated and forbidden Ilha da Queimada Grande is reportedly home to 430,000 serpents – including the deadly golden lancehead viper, which can kill an adult human within minutes. 

In his video, the 23-year-old adventurer sneaked onto the island by boat, dodging coastguard officials, before slipping into a suit of armour to exploring it.  

This Miles says, may have been a step too far. Speaking to the Mail he explained how he had terrifyingly lost control. 

For his latest trip Miles visited Snake Island off the coast of Brazil – a forbidden rock crawling with venomous snakes 

To protect himself Miles wore a full suit of armour which he claims was effective. He posed in the armour on the island (left) and before he arrived there (right)

The danger tourist says it was the only time on his trips he has felt like he lost control, as he was forced to ditch his armour and sprint through the undergrowth unprotected 

He said: ‘It’s the most dangerous island in the world after the UK. 

‘The snakes there can liquify your insides and their bite is essentially a 100 per cent mortality rate. 

‘I walked up the hill in my armour and then was told we had to leave. It would take too long to take my armour so I had to run down without it. 

‘I was only dressed in jeans and a t shirt and in foliage up to my neck – I wasn’t in control of the situation at all.’

His adventures have cultivated him a large social media following and he was even interviewed by disgraced influencer Andrew Tate – prior to his arrest on money laundering and people smuggling charges. Tate has since been released on house arrest. 

Keen to cash in on the notoriety of his first trip, Miles released a book in which he makes a series of questionable claims about the events that led up to him ‘goofing off’ with the SAS units on the night of August 15 2021. 

He writes: ‘The soldiers were all tipsy and enjoying themselves and started telling me about what they’d experienced. {..}

‘One of them handed me his black plate carrier vest: ‘Here put this on.’ 

‘I put on the body armour, which was weighed down by the magazines stored in the front pockets in addition to the plates. 

‘They also handed me a gun, after profuse warnings to keep my finger off the trigger since they didn’t unload it. I handed one of them my phone and grinned as he snapped a picture to commemorate the occasion.’

Miles’s social media accounts have been silent since he was detained by the Taliban. This is one of the last pictures he shared in February 

When approached by the MailOnline for clarity on the alleged incident, the Ministry of Defence refused to confirm its veracity. 

A spokesman said: ‘It has been the policy of successive governments to neither confirm nor deny reports of special forces activity.’

The book titled ‘Lord Miles in Afghanistan’ contains many more claims about the student’s time in Kabul including that he had attempted to hide the fact he was western by using a Burkha as a ‘disguise’. 

It also contains statements such as the ‘Polish language is nonsense’ and that Kabul – where gruesome terror attacks are common- is safer than London. 

Miles – who has said he is estranged from his family – told the Mail that adventuring was now his full-time job which he did with the help of donors who ‘liked his work.’ 

He explained: ‘Most trips like Afghanistan and Ukraine I can do quite cheaply, so between £1000 to £2000 but some bigger ones like Brazil can cost more in the region of £1000. 

‘I get the money by fundraising and generous donors who like what I do.’

It is believed he set off on his latest visit to Afghanistan at the end of February and was reportedly arrested on March 2 alongside Polish nationals Adrian Wojcik, 22, and Roman Bilski, 24. 

His mother Mrs Routledge, 64, from Birmingham, told the Daily Mail she usually kept up to date with her son’s travels on social media, but he does not appear to have posted online since March 16.

She said: ‘I’m distraught. It is so worrying. I just want help to find out what has happened to him and make sure he is OK.

Suella Braverman told Sophy Ridge on Sky News that the UK government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the safety of British nationals abroad

‘If he is being treated well that is good to hear, as long as he is being well treated. If I can get a message to those who are holding him, I just want to ask them to tell him he has my love and support.’

Mrs Routledge said she had not been contacted by anyone from the Foreign Office.

‘I am just desperate to know that he is safe,’ she added. ‘I don’t know who is holding him or where he is’.

Miles is detained alongside a British medic Kevin Cornwell, 53, and another man who manages a hotel in Kabul.  

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the the UK government would ‘do whatever it takes to ensure that they’re safe’. 

‘The government is in negotiations and working hard to ensure people’s safety is upheld,’ she told Sky News. 

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