February 22, 2019
A Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack, who was captured in Syria, has said he misses his mother and wants to come home to Britain.

Jack Letts, 23, who fled his middle class home in Oxford in 2014, and was later accused of joining Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), said he now considers the UK his home and he believes he should be allowed to return.
Speaking from the Kurdish prison camp in Northern Syria, where he has been held for the past two years, Letts denounced Isil, but admitted he thought the terrorist attacks on the Bataclan in Paris in 2015 were a "good thing".
He also said he missed many of the home comforts of British life, including pasties and episodes of Doctor Who.
He told ITV News: "I feel British. I am British."
Jihadi Jack, the Briton accused of fighting for Isil: I miss my mum, pasties and Doctor Who - I want to go home
Asked if he wanted to return to the UK he replied: "Yes, if the UK accepted me I'd go back to the UK. It's my home. But...I don't think that's going to happen."
His interview comes just days after fellow Briton, Shamima Begum, was stripped of her UK citizenship by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, after travelling to Syria.
The 19-year-old mother, who is believed to have joint Bangladeshi nationality, has asked to return home to bring up her baby son in the safety and security of Britain.
But rejecting her appeals, Mr Javid said he would do whatever it took to keep the people of Britain safe.
Letts, who has been held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for nearly two years, insists he wants to start a new chapter of his life.
But after being tracked down at a Kurdish prison he revealed the extent to which he had been brainwashed by Islamic State extremists, describing his delight when he first heard of the 2015 Paris attacks.
“Genuinely, at the time we had this idea that when you're living in Raqqa you're getting bombed every five minutes by coalition jets,” he said.
“I've seen children burnt alive, that's probably going to upset, probably annoy some people, but the truth is the truth.
“I've seen coalition jets kill children. At the time you have this sort of idea of 'why shouldn't it happen to them?'. But then you realise they had nothing to do with it.”
He added: “To be honest at the time I thought it was a good thing.”
A total 130 people died and more than 350 were injured in a coordinated series of terror attacks in the French capital on November 13, 2015, including 90 killed by gunmen who burst into the Bataclan concert hall.
Letts, the son of an organic farmer, had left his family home to travel to Syria the previous year, aged 18.
He claims he went to "search for truth" and has previously insisted he had no regrets and no plans to return to Britain.
Jihadi Jack, the Briton accused of fighting for Isil: I miss my mum, pasties and Doctor Who - I want to go home
Letts was captured by Kurdish forces in May 2017 as he fled from the Isil stronghold of Raqqa and has been held by the SDF ever since.
His parents, John Letts, who is Canadian, and Sally Lane, face an Old Bailey trial later this year over claims they funded terrorism by sending their son money. The couple deny the charge and insist their son went to Syria to help refugees.
Letts has not spoken to his parents for two years and said he was desperately missing his mother. He said censored letters delivered by the Red Cross were his only contact with the UK.
Speaking just days after Ms Begum pleaded to be allowed home from Syria, he acknowledged his actions meant he was unlikely to curry favour with the British authorities.
“I'd like just a phone call,” he said. “I don't know if Britain can do that for me here. But I'd like just a phone call to my mum. It's been two years...if I can make any requests, I'm probably not in a position to make a request. That's all really. I miss my mum. I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish.”
He added: "What else do I miss? I miss pasties. It's not really English - sort of Scottish isn’t it? I miss pasties. And Doctor Who. Sounds a bit stupid… that’s all."
Jihadi Jack, the Briton accused of fighting for Isil: I miss my mum, pasties and Doctor Who - I want to go home
His comments are a far cry from those issued some two years ago before he was captured, when he denounced his parents, stating he hated them both.
In an online statement released in July 2016, he added: "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."
Asked at the time if he was an Islamic State fighter, he replied: "Currently I'm not.”
Letts said he had learnt Arabic in Jordan before moving on to Kuwait and then eventually Iraq and Syria, where he wound up living on "the Oxford Street of Raqqa".
Soon after arriving in Syria he married an Iraqi woman and had a son, whom he has never met.
Echoing Ms Begum’s sentiments, he said he wanted to return to the UK because it was his “home” although he acknowledged it was an unlikely prospect.
"I don’t think I’m going to be given back to Britain, for example, or some Canadian official is going to come and help me because like I said - no one really cares,” he said.
Asked if he felt British or Canadian, he said: "I feel British. I’m British. My dad's Canadian.
"If the UK accepted me then I’d go back to the UK, it’s my home. But I don’t think that’s going to happen."
He revealed he had approached both British and Canadian officials but had not received a reply.
Letts said he hoped those held in the Kurdish camps in northern Syria would be allowed to return home to their native countries, particularly women and children, many of whom are dying.
With hindsight, Letts described his decision to travel to Syria as “ridiculous” and “stupid”.
He said he had witnessed numerous executions and beheadings which he described as “horrific,” adding: “Anyone who sees this is obviously going to have a repulsion.”
Letts appealed for a chance to face the consequences of his actions in court. “Consider us criminals, that’s not a problem, but at at least we want a fair trial, we want some sort of way of getting out of this hole that we put ourselves in," he said.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "In recent days the Home Secretary has clearly stated that his priority is the safety and security of Britain and the people who live here.
"In order to protect this country, he has the power to deprive someone of their British citizenship where it would not render them stateless.
"We do not comment on individual cases, but any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly."
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