Born in 1995 in the United Kingdom, Jack Letts converted to Islam as a teenager. He later told his parents he was travelling to Kuwait to further his Arabic language skills.
Jack left the UK in June of 2014, but by that September he was in ISIS.
When ISIS collapsed more than three years later, he was taken prisoner by Kurdish YPG forces after he escaped from the “capital” city of Raqqa.
Now, his mother and father are leading an international campaign to have him released and sent to Canada – a country to which has few if any, real connections. His father is a Canadian citizen, and his mother is British. Jack Letts was born and raised in the UK but could be considered eligible for Canadian citizenship.
Fairly or unfairly, he is known in the British press as “Jihadi Jack.” He arrived in ISIS three months after their stunning capture of the city of Mosul, along with a huge swath of Iraqi territory. By that point, the incredibly brutal nature of ISIS was known through their recruiting videos which exposed the mass beheadings of soldiers and the decapitation of journalist James Foley. He claims to have not agreed with the actions of ISIS, yet nonetheless remained throughout virtually the entire existence of the caliphate.
Through his parents, he claims that he never supported ISIS and was only there on a “search for truth.” Yet in an interview with Channel 4 TV in the UK, he said that he “hated his parents, for the sake of Allah because they are non- believers. They reject the religion of truth, so I reject them. I hate the Kuffaar [non-believers] and am free from them. Die in your rage.”
Perhaps his most damning assertion was in an interview in which he stated he was not “currently” fighting for ISIS. In this 2016 interview, two years after his arrival in ISIS, he said he had no regrets and no plans to return to the UK.
To be fair to Jack Letts, he also stated that he came to oppose the Islamic State (ISIS). But he then added that “doesn’t mean I am with you, the dirty non-Muslims.”
When asked if he was a terrorist, he stated that “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...“
In a February 11th 2018 radio interview with Roy Green, his father, John Letts, tried to argue that his son believes in Canadian values and can assist Canada in managing extremism. This despite his son describing all non-Muslims as dirty kuffars. Prime Minister Trudeau appears to have similar views. The PM stated that returning ISIS fighters can be a “powerful voice” for preventing radicalizaiton in Canada. This statement is unusual, given that Canada has no deradicalization program and most similar programs in other countries have collapsed in failure or had very limited successes. Most shocking of all is that Prime Minister Trudeau stated that returning ISIS fighters are comparable to previous immigrants such as Italians and Greeks.
We are faced with the problem of a Canadian-of-convenience.
Despite his never having lived here and his statement that he believes we are dirty kuffars, we are told that the Government of Canada may bring him to Canada. Given the number of real refugees and those who have suffered persecution due to their race, gender, orientation, language or nationality, it seems inexplicable that the Canadian government should expend time and resources aiding someone who was a part of the 21st Century’s most vicious terrorist group to date.
ISIS was infamous for genocide, rape and mass sexual slavery for women.
Does Canada really need someone who “found people that act on what they learn and teach, and benefited a lot from them”?