Jack Letts: Jihadi Jack is just a lad whose let’s his dad pick out his clothes
Is Jack Letts the “Posh teen” (the Sun) from Oxford the first white Briton to join the Islamic State (ISIS)? The Mail calls him ‘Jihadi Jack’. His dad, John, is an organic farmer who once appeared on the BBC’s Countryfile magazine show, we learn in every newspaper.
John says his son is a translator in Syria. He says lots of Jack’s friends are medics. Jack’s family do not know where he is “because he’s not stupid enough to tell us”. John tells the The Guardian his son “had a strong humanitarian conviction”. Jack is in Syria to help the people.
How he’s helping them is up for debate.
Is Jack a lad or is he a jihadi called Ibrahim or Abu Mohammed, as the Mail says he is?
The Sunday Times says Jack is a Muslim convert who told his parents of his plan to study Arabic in Kuwait before joining ISIS in September 2014. The paper says he married a woman after he moved to Fallujah, Iraq.
Jack’s mum, Sally, says: “We spoke to him yesterday and he said he had never had a weapon in his life.”
John says the pants Jack’s wearing in the above picture – the one of him giving the “ISIS one-finger salute” – are not ISIS Army issue. “I bought him those cargo trousers from a sports shop in Oxford,” says John Letts.
The Independent says Letts has announced via Facebook that he is working with ISIS. “It’s sort of awkward when the media thinks you’re ISIS and you’re not,” he allegedly wrote. “Thinks you have a son and you don’t. Thinks you’re married when you’re not. Maybe they got bored worrying about what colour socks certain celebrities wear and took out the frustration on me. The formula with the media is simple: English guy became Muslim + went to the Middle East + followed Islam = ISIS + eats babies x evil.”
Further reports says Letts admitted in his Facebook posts that other people have used his Facebook account: “some of whom are extreme etc… and only got my password through one guy I stupidly trusted… One of the funniest articles was the one were the last sentence was ‘Jack Letts and ISIS have been contacted for comment’. Like me and ISIS have like a shared office in which we receive requests for comment and were still thinking about whether to reply or not.”
Police have twice raided the family home, taking away laptops and mobile phones. John says: “It’s like he’s walking on a train track with a blindfold, with a train [coming down the tracks]. Blindfolded in the sense he can’t see the danger ahead of him but determined to help people… If the ramifications were not so serious, it could be a comedy.”