Islamic militancy

UK Muslim convert dubbed ‘Jihadi Jack’ detained by Kurdish forces in Syria

Jack Letts suspected of joining Islamic State in Syria but told the BBC he escaped with the help of a people smuggler

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 2:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 10:19pm

A British Muslim convert dubbed “Jihadi Jack”, who is suspected of joining Islamic State, has reportedly been detained by Kurdish forces in Syria.

, 21, travelled to Syria in 2014 but last year told reporters he was not “currently” a militant and no longer supported Islamic State.

He is understood to have married in Iraq and now has a child.

The former A-level student, from Oxford, told the BBC he found a people smuggler whom he had to follow through a minefield in a bid to leave Isis-held territory.

Letts told the BBC via text and voice messages he had grown disillusioned with Islamic State, which is seeing its grip on territory in Syria and Iraq chipped away.

Watch: ‘Jihadi Jack’ interview with Channel 4

“I hate them more than the Americans hate them,” Letts told the BBC.

“I realised they were not upon the truth so they put me in prison three times and threatened to kill me.”

Letts’ parents, John Letts and Sally Lane, are facing trial accused of sending hundreds of pounds to their son between September 2015 and January last year.

Lane said that having not heard from her son for several weeks she suddenly received a message saying he was in a safe zone.

“It was the news we’ve been waiting for for three years – ever since he went out there – and now we just want to get him home,” she said.

John Letts said: “He will have to account for himself and I completely understand that. If he’s had anything to do with IS, I want nothing to do with him, to be quite honest. I really despise this sort of group.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas.”