Bumbling Brit Trapped in Kabul

Twenty-two-year-old British student Miles Routledge is stuck in Kabul, and he only has himself to blame.

Routledge is far from the first war tourist, but his story ranks with the most ridiculous examples. Routledge googled “most dangerous countries to visit” and opted for a trip to “goof off” in Afghanistan while the Taliban were sweeping through the country. Speaking to The Spectator, he explained, “I was under the impression the country wouldn’t fall for another month…I thought maybe the worst case would be food poisoning.”

Clearly attention-hungry, he has been posting to notorious message board 4Chan (an anonymous message board often cited as the birthplace of the Anonymous hacker group) and streaming live on Facebook and Twitch.

Routledge’s preparations for a trip to Afghanistan included “messaging a couple of people and watching some YouTube videos” before he applied for (and was somehow granted) a tourist visa. By the time he arrived, the Taliban surrounded Kabul. Yesterday, the Afghan president fled the country and Taliban fighters entered the city. Routledge had been planning to fly out on a commercial flight on August 19.

British and U.S. forces have been flown in to cover the withdrawal of internationals in Kabul, so a commercial flight out seems incredibly unlikely. Routledge claims to be in a safe house somewhere near the airport. He has been trying to speak to the British embassy to escape the country. He doesn’t seem particularly concerned about the extreme danger he is putting his hosts in. However, he has asked his Facebook friends to “consider the people who live in Afghanistan as they’re doing so much worse [than him]”.

The university student from Loughborough has managed to make the fall of Kabul all about him. “This trip has been a test of God. I’m very religious so I believe I’ll be looked after.” Let’s hope no one loses their lives on his account.