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GFATF - LLL - Jack Letts

Jack Letts

Born: 1995;

Place of Birth: Oxfordshire, England (United Kingdom);

Gender: Male;

Nationality: Canadian, British;

General Info:
Jack Letts, born 1995, is a British-born Muslim convert, formerly of dual British-Canadian nationality, who has been accused of being a member of the Islamic State terrorist group. He was given the nickname Jihadi Jack by the media.

Letts was born in Oxford to a Canadian father and British mother. He converted to Islam and was said by his parents to have developed severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He attended various local mosques and learned the Arabic language in order to read the Koran.

Links with the Islamic State:
Letts said that he travelled to Kuwait in May 2014 and to Syria in September of that same year. The media interest in Letts began in January 2016, when journalist Richard Kerbaj of The Sunday Times accused him of joining the Islamic State terrorist group, a claim Letts and his parents said was untrue.

In June 2016, Letts stated that his journey to the Middle East was part of his “search for truth”, and denied ever having been a member of Islamic State terrorist group. He stated that he went to Syria to spread the religion of Allah and to help Muslims.

Letts denied claims that he adopted the name Abu Mohammed while in the Middle East. While in Syria, Letts married a local woman who later had a child whom Letts has never met.

In 2016, Letts stated, “I’m not the Islamic State, but I believe in the Sharia; I also think that whatever I say, the media will probably freestyle with it and make up more nicknames for me.” When questioned about the treatment of Muslims in Syria, he said, “The Muslims in Syria are burned alive, raped, abused, imprisoned and much more.

I also think that some of Muslims I met here are living like walking mountains. Full of honour”. When asked if he was a terrorist, he stated: “Do you mean by the English government’s definition, that anyone that opposes a non-Islamic system and man-made laws? Then, of course, by that definition, I suppose they’d say I’m a terrorist, khalas (“and that’s that”). He also said, “that doesn’t mean I am with you, the dirty non-Muslims”.

On 7 May 2017, Letts stated that he hated the Islamic State more than the Americans hate them. Letts has claimed that he was imprisoned by Islamic State on three occasions, and lived in hiding with others who stood against Islamic State inside Raqqa.

Letts parents were under restrictions imposed by Mr Justice Saunders, and the UK media were therefore unable to report anything they may have known about their son’s opinions or activities while he was in Syria.

He shared a photograph of himself in 2015 performing a one-finger salute associated with Islamic State. The photograph showed Mosul Dam in the background, which was within Islamic State-controlled territory at the time.

In October 2018, Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer criticized the government for trying to negotiate Letts’ release. In doing so, he described Letts as a known terrorist and as British terrorist Jihadi Jack, a UK citizen, who may or may not have ever set foot in Canada.

Revoked British citizenship:
In June 2019, after his parents trial, the BBC reported an interview with him in 2018, in which he said Islamic State used to “encourage you in a sort of indirect way” to put on a suicide vest. He said he made it obvious to militants that “if there was a battle, I’m ready”.

On 18 August 2019 it was reported that the British government had revoked Letts’ British citizenship. However, the Home Office declined to comment on the case.

In response, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale described the move as a “unilateral action to off-load (the UK’s consular) responsibilities,” leaving Canada responsible for further diplomatic assistance for Letts.

Letts’s parents and funding terrorism:
On 9 June 2016, Letts’s parents appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court, charged with funding terrorism. The court heard that the couple had tried to send money to their son on three occasions between September 2015 to January 2016.

Sally Lane and John Letts claim the police gave them permission to send Letts funds to help him escape from Islamic State territory. They were remanded in custody. After spending five days in prison, their bail was reinstated following a hearing at the Old Bailey.

Appearing at the Old Bailey in June 2016, they denied three counts of funding terrorism and were released on conditional bail. A trial was set for January 2017, but the case was delayed as the couple was given permission to challenge the charges against them ‘on a point of law’ in the Supreme Court.

Their trial at the Old Bailey continued on 22 May 2019, and on 21 June 2019 they were found guilty of funding terrorism, and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

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