‘Jihadi Jack’ was once a poster boy for ISIS. Though his parents have always claimed that he opposes the group and was captured and thrown in a Kurdish prison for all the wrong reasons, we fear that it might be hard to explain why he traveled to Syria in 2014 and was staying in the ISIS capital Raqqa ever since.
Understandably, his parents never lost their love for their son. Mr. John Letts and Ms. Sally Lane have traveled far and wide to get both the Canadian and UK governments for help to get their son out of prison in Northern Syria.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">'We wondered if he was being forced to say things' - parents of 'Jihadi Jack' on the last time they spoke to him. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VictoriaLIVE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VictoriaLIVE</a> <a href="https://t.co/9Ypgw3XgEh">pic.twitter.com/9Ypgw3XgEh</a></p>— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) <a href="https://twitter.com/VictoriaLIVE/status/880332710383890434?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 29, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
According to Mr. Letts, his son was trying to flee into Turkey from territory controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria when the Kurdish Peshmerga captured him. Since then they’ve charged him with being a member of ISIS, something which has carried the death penalty in a war-torn country like Syria
Young Jack Letts, who converted to Islam whilst in the University of Oxford traveled to Syria in 2014 already, at the beginning of the civil war.
“Jack himself stupidly went to ‘see for himself what was going on,’ ” his parents wrote on their Free Jack Letts Facebook page.“While he is guilty of stupidity, he is not actually guilty of violence or any other offense. He worked against IS with friends and colleagues for two years inside Mosul and Raqqa.”
The British government is trying desperately to stay out of this, not wanting to draw attention to a dual holder of both British and Canadian passports who are stuck in a Kurdish prison. The foreign ministry will never officially confirm it, but there is not much doubt that ‘Jihadi Jack’ actually was a member of ISIS, though his parents choose to believe the opposite.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces that captured him state that: “Jack Letts is a dual British-Canadian national who traveled to areas under the Islamic State (ISIS) control in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Jack Letts has been captured in war zone area as a prisoner of war.”
The Kurdish forces also released a letter from Letts’ parents, in which the couple explained that they accepted the Kurds had a right to question suspected ISIS sympathizers: “We also accept that Jack will need to be transferred into Canadian custody for questioning and may be arrested when he arrives in Canada. If he has committed any crimes, we believe he should face justice and explain his actions.”
Mr. Oliver Tickell, a friend of the family who works as a journalist, informed them that even Canadian diplomats initially had a “can-do attitude” when they saw the case, but later backed off.