A British member of parliament says the Canadian government had a plan to smuggle a former ISIS fighter with dual citizenship from Syria to Canada, but was stopped by a third party.
Jack Letts, 23, better known as “Jihadi Jack,” has been in prison since he was arrested by Kurdish authorities two years ago.
The accusation comes from comments made by British Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle to U.K. media.
Letts, who was born in the United Kingdom, left his hometown of Oxford for Syria in 2014 after converting to Islam.
While he was reported to have joined ISIS, both Letts and his parents deny that’s why he went to the Middle East.
Russell-Moyle told the media that Letts, who has Canadian citizenship through his father, was going to be moved out of Kurdish jail and brought to Canada, but that the plan was foiled by the UK’s home department, though this isn’t confirmed.
“My understanding is that hesitant agreement had been reached with them and the Canadians,” Russell-Moyle said.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has denied that Canada was planning on bringing Letts to Canada, saying that they had no obligation to reach an agreement and claims that the reports of any plan are “categorically false.”
“There is no legal obligation on the government of Canada to repatriate in these circumstances. No offer of repatriation has been made and there’s certainly no deal with the Kurds,” he said.
It’s unclear why Canada would be working to bring Letts to the country when the UK, his birth country, decided against it.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned last October why Canada would be involved at all.
“British terrorist Jihadi Jack, a UK citizen, who may or may not have ever set foot in Canada, reportedly received help from a government representative,” Scheer said in Question Period.
“The Liberals proactively reached out to him to help him come to Canada. Why?”