Jack Letts, who converted to Islam and left the United Kingdom to join ISIS has been stripped of his British citizenship, according to a new report.
The Guardian reported that Letts, dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the British media, left his home in Oxfordshire at 18-years-old before marrying in Iraq and moving to Syria. Letts was captured by Kurdish forces as he attempted to flee to Turkey in May of 2017, at the age of 24-years-old, and has been jailed in northern Syria ever since.
Letts, who is a dual U.K.-Canadian national, was stripped of his British citizenship as the last act of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, and a statement was released by a Home Office spokesman.
“Decisions on depriving a dual national of citizenship are based on substantial advice from officials, lawyers and the intelligence agencies and all available information. This power is one way we can counter the terrorist threat posed by some of the most dangerous individuals and keep our country safe,” the statement read.
Since his incarceration, Letts has reported that he still feels British and would like to return to England, but wasn’t sure if he would be allowed. Recently, his parents, John Letts, who is also a dual citizen, and Sally Lane were both convicted of providing aid and comfort to a terrorist and funding terrorism.
— Paul (@Paul74791966) August 18, 2019
The parents of Jack Letts were convicted of sending him money while he was on the run, and will themselves avoid jail time with suspended sentences. After their convictions, the parents said that they were still committed to bringing their son home, as at that time, he was still a British citizen.
Under international law, a person can be stripped of their citizenship by a government only as long as it does not leave the individual stateless. As Letts is still a Canadian citizen, he is not “stateless.”
The Telegraph states that the man called “Jihadi Jack” had promised that he never intended to kill any Britons, and announced that he wanted to move back to the United Kingdom only after his arrest. Letts is now being referred to as the responsibility of the Canadian government.
Officials in Ottawa, Canada, are said to be angered by the decision, and it is reportedly one of the topics which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to discuss with Boris Johnson at the G-7 summit in France on the weekend of August 25.
Officials confirm that Jack Letts still holds a Canadian passport.