Father of convert 'Jihadi Jack' says his son opposes Islamic State and wants to 'live peacefully'

Father of convert 'Jihadi Jack' says his son opposes Islamic State and wants to 'live peacefully'

'Jihadi Jack' Letts' parents John Letts and Sally Lane. Image: PA

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The father of the man nicknamed Jihadi Jack has said his son worked in opposition to Islamic State and wants to 'live peacefully'.

Jack Letts converted to Islam and travelled to Syria in 2014, where he is suspected of joining IS.

His parents John Letts and Sally Lane, from Chilswell Road, Oxford, are awaiting trial in the UK accused of sending money to their son.

They have denied three charges of funding terrorism.


'I think he's innocent'

Organic farmer John Letts said they have not been allowed to talk about the case "because of contempt of court rules", according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

The broadcaster said he spoke at a press conference in Canada before a meeting with senior officials at Global Affairs Canada.

Mr Letts has reportedly asked Canadian officials to help secure the release of his son, who has dual British Canadian nationality.

CBC said he told the press conference: "I want everyone here to know what we know - that Jack worked with others in the religious opposition to Isis in Raqqa.

"He condemned Isis on social media and he wants to spend the rest of his life living peacefully and bearing witness against Isis."

Mr Letts added: "Unfortunately, I do not have any other choice than to speak out because I love my son and I think he's innocent."

CBC reported that Mr Letts said his son felt "he had a religious duty to help others who were suffering".


'In jail in Syria'

"Other countries, including the USA, have brought their citizens home, so why can't Canada?" Mr Letts said, according to CBC.

The broadcaster said he addressed reporters at the press conference by saying: "I need your help to save my son's life."

Jack Letts has previously told the BBC he is in solitary confinement in a jail in Kurdish-held north-east Syria.

In 2016 he said he was no longer fighting for IS and did not agree with a lot of what the group stood for.