Jack Letts left the country a year before Shamima Begum and is suspected of joining Isis
A second Briton who left to go to Syria has said he wanted to return to the UK. Jack Letts, who is suspected of joining Islamic State, said he missed Britain, but doubted he would ever be allowed to return.
Letts, 23, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by British media and holds dual nationality through his Canadian father, told ITV News he did not believe either nation would help him because “no one really cares”.
He travelled to Syria in 2014 and is now being held in a Kurdish prison. His case follows that of Shamima Begum, who left for Syria to join Isis in 2015. Earlier this week, the home secretary, Sajid Javid, ordered that her citizenship be revoked after she said she wanted to return to the UK.
On Friday, Letts told ITV News: “I miss people mostly, I miss my mum. Five years I haven’t seen my mum, two years I haven’t spoken to my mum. I miss pasties. And Doctor Who.
“I feel British, I am British. If the UK accepted me, I would go back to the UK, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.” He said he did not know if his Canadian passport would still be valid.
His parents, John Letts and Sally Lane, deny their son went to Syria to join Isis and have said he has been the victim of torture at the hands of his captors.
Speaking from the jail where he has been held for the past two years, Letts said he was pleased when he first heard news of the Paris terror attacks in 2015 and blamed his reaction on his experiences of coalition airstrikes in Raqqa.
He said when asked about the Bataclan atrocities: “At the time, I thought it was a good thing. At the time we had this idea, living in Raqqa, getting bombed every five minutes by coalition jets. I’ve seen children burnt alive. You have this idea of ‘why shouldn’t it happen to them?’” But he said he had since had a change of heart and felt sympathy for the innocent people killed as he “realised that they had nothing to do with it”.
Letts said he had lived on “the Oxford Street of Raqqa” and married an Iraqi woman who had given birth to their son.
The Home Office declined to comment, saying it would not discuss individual cases.
The interview with ITV News is likely to cause further problems for the home secretary, who faces a legal fight over his decision to revoke Begum’s citizenship. She was one of three schoolgirls to leave Bethnal Green in east London to join the terrorist organisation and recently gave birth to a baby boy, her third child.
Begum’s family said in a letter to the home secretary on Thursday: “We must, therefore, assist Shamima in challenging your decision to take away the one thing that is her only hope at rehabilitation, her British citizenship.”
Letts’s parents are awaiting trial in the UK accused of sending money to their son. They have denied three charges of funding terrorism.