Oxford-born Jack Letts (21), also known as Jihadi Jack, has been charged with being a member of ISIS, officials from the Kurdish region of Syria have said. Officials confirmed he was captured in May 2017 but Mr Letts said he is opposed to ISIS. In a statement given to the BBC, the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) said Mr Letts had been taken to a prison in Qamishli, in northern Syria. It is the first time Kurdish forces have confirmed the capture of Mr Letts as a prisoner of war.
Mr Letts converted to Islam while still at school in Oxford and at 18 dropped out of his A-Levels to travel to Jordan in 2014. By the autumn of that year he was in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria. He then married in Iraq and now has a child. When he left ISIS territory, in May 2017, he was captured by the Kurdish-led YPG – the group fighting against ISIS.
Sally Lane and John Letts, parents of Jack, have denied he went to Syria to fight with ISIS, and started a petition claiming he had “disappeared in a Guantanamo-style black site” in Kurdish-controlled territory. But Sinam Mohamad, the European representative of DFNS, strongly disputed this. She told the BBC that its judicial bodies respected international human rights law and were treating Mr Letts in accordance with the Geneva Convention and international human rights standards.
John Letts and Sally Lane have pleaded not guilty to charges of funding terrorism after being accused of sending cash to their son. Their solicitor has said they have declined to comment. They conducted a week-long “hunger-strike” in protest, claiming the British government had not done enough to help their son.