'Jihadi Jack' Held By Kurdish Forces

14 June 2017, 06:38

Jihadi Jack - Jack Letts

The man nicknamed Jihadi Jack who fled Britain to fight for the Islamic State in Syria is reportedly being held by Kurdish forces opposing the terrorist group.

Jack Letts converted to Islam and travelled to Syria in 2014 where he is suspected of joining Islamic State (IS).

The 21-year-old, from Oxford, told the BBC he was now in solitary confinement in a jail in Kurdish-held north-east Syria.

Last year he said he was no longer fighting for IS and did not agree with a lot of what the group stood for.

Mr Letts told the BBC: "I found a smuggler and walked behind him through minefields.''

He said he and the smuggler "eventually made it near a Kurdish point where we were shot at twice and slept in a field''.

The former Oxford A-level student told the BBC he became disillusioned with the group about a year ago after it killed its former supporters.

"I hate them more than the Americans hate them,'' he said.

"I realised they were not upon the truth so they put me in prison three times and threatened to kill me.''

Mr Letts' parents, John Letts and Sally Lane, are facing trial accused of sending hundreds of pounds to their son between September 2015 and January last year.

Ms Lane said that having not heard from her son for several weeks she suddenly received a message saying he was in a safe zone.

"It was the news we've been waiting for for three years - ever since he went out there - and now we just want to get him home,'' she told the BBC.

Mr Letts said: "He will have to account for himself and I completely understand that. If he's had anything to do with IS, I want nothing to do with him, to be quite honest. I really despise this sort of group.''

The UK government advises against all travel to areas of conflict.

A Foreign and Commonwealth spokeswoman said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq.

"As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas.''