Suspected of being 'James Bond character', Taliban held Ex-British soldier in 'Guantanamo Bay'-style jail

A former British soldier was held for weeks by the Taliban as the new regime suspected him to be a 'James Bond'-like spy. He has now narrated his ordeal after he came out of the war-torn country to the Qatari capital Doha on 5 October.

Ben Slater
Ben Slater. Alan Rowe MBE

Ben Slater, who ran Nomad Concepts Group in Kabul, was taken captive by the extremist when he was trying to help Afghans escape from the country, he told Sky News. "They'd obviously picked up on the fact that I was ex-military and that led to them thinking I was like a James Bond type character," he is quoted as saying by the website.

Aggressive Actions
According to him, he lost his dignity after revealing to them that he was an ex-soldier as they suspected him to be working for MI5. He claims, "There were some, you know, aggressive actions. The jail cell was basically on a par with Guantanamo Bay."

The 37-year-old man was subject to physical torture, was isolated for two weeks and he had lost connection with the external world. Slater was housed in jail with figures of ISIS. However, he started getting better treatment after the extremist realised that he was not a spy.

I was like a Trojan horse
Ben Slater hailed Home Office and Foreign Office which negotiated his release. "I was like a Trojan horse to maybe start the dialogue. The British ambassador has done a fantastic job in Doha and obviously Sir Simon Gass and the deputy ambassador for Afghanistan put a very creative plan in place to get me to Islamabad," he said.

The ex-soldier claims that he secured a safe passage for 112 people, but there are still many stuck in Afghanistan. He has pleaded with the US, UK, Australia, and Canada to evacuate those still in the war-torn country.

The Taliban returned to power on 15 August after the US decided to withdraw its troops, ending its two-decade war in Afghanistan. In the next two weeks, the world witnessed chaotic scenes as thousands decided to flee the country.

Airport was flooded with people who pleaded for safe passage. However, it is not sure whether his staff was evacuated or they were still stuck in Afghanistan.