Thursday 19 September 2019

'Jihadi Jack' begs Canada for help as UK rescinds passport

Jack Letts has had his British citizenship revoked. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire
Jack Letts has had his British citizenship revoked. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire

Charles Hymas

The Muslim convert nicknamed 'Jihadi Jack' has appealed to Canada to take him in after being stripped of his British citizenship - as it emerged he will escape prosecution there.

Reacting to the decision to revoke his citizenship, Jack Letts (23), who left Britain to join Isil in 2014 and is being held by the Kurds in northern Syria, said: "I was expecting something like this, to be honest.

"I've been here for two and a half years and the British government has not helped me at all. These things have very little meaning to me, to be honest. I don't think British citizenship is a big deal."

Letts, who has admitted he was an enemy of Britain and said he would have loved to become an Isil martyr, has dual nationality through his Canadian father John (58) and has held a Canadian passport.

He said: "I've always felt I am Canadian, my dad is Canadian, and I never grew up being accepted as a British person anyway.

"But, in the same way Britain hasn't helped me, Canada has done nothing. I always thought Canada was a better country, I had this illusion.

"I hope Canada does take me from here. I could go there, to prison of course. If I'm really a Canadian citizen, why haven't they taken me by now?"

John McKay, chairman of Canada's committee on public safety and national security, said if Letts went to Canada, he would escape prosecution for joining Isil through a loophole in Canadian law.

He said: "We are between a rock and a hard place. Our legislation works on the assumption - actually stated in legislation - that you have to leave from Canada in order to be prosecuted for a terrorist offence. We are unable to initiate any prosecution."

He described Britain's decision to revoke Letts's citizenship as "gutless".

Irish Independent

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