The first white British man has been publicly identified as joining ISIS in Syria, according to The Sunday Times.
The paper reports that Jack Letts, a 20-year-old man originally from Oxford, joined the radical Islamist group and secretly travelled to Syria two years ago.
Letts apparently converted to Islam while living in Oxford, and attended the Madina Masjid mosque in the city.
He comes from a non-Islamic background: His family is reportedly secular, his father working as an organic farmer and archaeobotanist, and his mother as a books editor. He studied at Cherwell school, supported Liverpool football club, and allegedly drank alcohol and smoked cannbais before his conversion.
Letts was reportedly nicknamed “Jihadi Jack” by his peers in Oxford.
The moniker mirrors “Jihadi John,” another high-profile British Islamic State militant. Real name Mohammed Emwazi, the former Londoner became infamous after appearing in ISIS execution videos of Western journalists and aid workers including James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Emwazi was killed in a drone strike in November 2015.
Jack Letts now apparently uses the name Abu Muhammed, and married a woman from Fallujah in Iraq after he came to Syria. The Daily Mail reports he has a son, named Muhammed.
He reportedly first travelled to Syria after telling his parents he was going to study Arabic in Kuwait. According to The Sunday Times, Letts revealed to his parents the truth in September 2014. A source to “close to his family” told the paper: “His mother and father were extremely worried for his safety after he told them that he was in Syria. The past two years have been a real nightmare for them. They just wish he can be back home with them.
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