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Taliban thought British ex-soldier was ‘James Bond character’ and subjected him to beatings in jail

Taliban thought British ex-soldier was ‘James Bond character’ and subjected him to beatings at ‘Guantanamo Bay-like’ prison where he was held for weeks in Afghanistan

  • Former soldier Ben Slater was detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan last month
  • Slater was held for weeks in a ‘Guantanamo Bay-like’ prison by the Islamist group
  • He was accused of being a British spy, beaten and put in solitary confinement
  • Slater, who worked in Afghanistan, was evacuated to Doha, Qatar, on October 5 


A British former soldier was subjected to beatings in a ‘Guantanamo Bay-like’ prison where he was held for weeks in Afghanistan because the Taliban thought he was a ‘James Bond character’. 

Ben Slater, 37, was detained by the Taliban last month while trying to help his Afghan staff flee the country and spent several weeks in jail under suspicion of being a British spy. 

The former soldier, who runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan, was beaten, thrown in solitary confinement and housed with figures from ISIS during the ordeal.

He was evacuated on a special flight from Kabul to the Qatari capital of Doha on October 5.

The Taliban swept to power on August 15 following a lightning offensive of the country that coincided with the US withdrawal. 

The two weeks following their takeover saw chaotic scenes as British and US troops flew in to help evacuate nationals while thousands of desperate Afghans flooded the airport and pleaded for safe passage. 

Slater was detained by the Taliban last month while trying to help Afghans flee the country and spent several weeks in jail under suspicion of being a James Bond-like British spy

Slater was detained by the Taliban last month while trying to help Afghans flee the country and spent several weeks in jail under suspicion of being a James Bond-like British spy

 Slater was detained by the Taliban last month while trying to help Afghans flee the country and spent several weeks in jail under suspicion of being a James Bond-like British spy

Slater, a former member of the Royal Military Police, was beaten by prison guards because they believed he was a ‘James Bond type character’ who worked for MI5, he told Sky News. 

‘I lost all my rights and my dignity for a couple of weeks,’ he said, describing being completely isolated and suffering ‘a few’ beatings during the ‘pretty dire’ ordeal. 

He said he was subjected to rough treatment because the Taliban believed he was a British spy but that his conditions improved once the group realised they were wrong. 

Slater said the prison was ‘on a par’ with Guantanamo Bay, describing the cells as overcrowded and hot.  

Slater, a former member of the Royal Military Police, (pictured) was beaten by prison guards because they believed he was a 'James Bond type character' who worked for MI5

Slater, a former member of the Royal Military Police, (pictured) was beaten by prison guards because they believed he was a ‘James Bond type character’ who worked for MI5 

The 37-year-old was arrested while trying to secure safe passage for his 50 staff at Nomad Concepts Group over a land border after failing to secure spots for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul.  

However, his mission failed after a coach carrying the staff was turned away at a land border. It is not clear which country the coach was attempting to cross into.

Slater was later told he could cross the border with one assistant, but that the rest of his staff had to remain in Afghanistan. He instead said he would try to secure visas for his staff from the UK or another Western country.

Slater arrived in Doha yesterday on board an flight arranged by the Qatari government for the Prime Minister’s High Representative for Afghan Transition Sir Simon Gass, and Dr Martin Longden Chargé d’Affaires of the UK Mission to Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear if Slater’s staff were evacuated with him.

He lauded the Foreign Office for their role securing his passage out of Afghanistan and called on the international community to aid further evacuations. 

He also praised the British Ambassador, Sir Simon Gass, and the deputy ambassador for Afghanistan for their ‘very creative plan’ to get him out of Kabul.  

Slater arrived in Doha yesterday on board an evacuation flight for two senior British diplomats arranged by the Qatari government and has praised the Foreign Office securing his passage out of Afghanistan

Slater arrived in Doha yesterday on board an evacuation flight for two senior British diplomats arranged by the Qatari government and has praised the Foreign Office securing his passage out of Afghanistan

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk