Last week, a British courtroom heard that Jack Letts, a man the Canadian government has been trying to get out of a Syrian prison, wanted to “perform a martyrdom” on British soldiers.
Letts, also known as “Jihadi Jack,” is being held by Kurdish rebels in Syria for being part of ISIS. His parents, John and Sally Letts, are on trial for funding terrorism for sending him money.
The courtroom heard that in 2015 after Letts had converted to Islam and moved to Syria, he had made comments and sent messages acknowledging his ISIS sympathies — his parents stand accused of sending him money anyway.
When an old friend made a post on Facebook celebrating the completion of a Commando Artillery Course in the British Army, Letts allegedly commented: “I would love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene.”
When Sally Letts confronted Jack about comment over Facebook, he messaged her saying “I admit it was wrong if I seemed like I was joking. I genuinely believe attacking the British Army is a very praiseworthy action when the intention is correct. I would happily kill each and every one of [his friends’] Unit personally.”
“This message for you, Mum and [younger brother] Tyler, I honestly want to cut Linus’ head off. I hope he finds himself lost in Beji or Fallujah one day and sees me whilst I’m armed and I put six bullets in his head.”
Letts left his home town of Oxford for Syria in 2014 after converting to Islam. It was reported that Letts joined ISIS, a charge both his parents adamantly deny.
The Canadian government made contact with Letts in January and provided help in dealing with his situation.
A British member of parliament alleged that the Canadian government had a plan to smuggle Letts from Syria to Canada, but was stopped by a third party. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale denied this report.
He may not have stepped foot in Canada before, but he has dual-citizenship through his father.
Despite the fact that the British government has decided to leave him with Kurdish authorities, the Canadian government has devoted time and resources to finding him a way to Canada.
After Conservative leader Andrew Scheer asked the government about their reasoning for investing so much into seeing an accused ISIS fighter come to Canada, his parents responded.
“Mr. Scheer confidently claimed that Jack is ‘a known jihadi fighter’ — a blatant lie that he knows is untrue. Simply repeating a lie four times does not make it true.”
As Letts’ case continues to develop, the Canadian government estimates that “approximately 60” ISIS fighters have already returned to Canada.