The Oxford-born Letts, who fled to Syria in 2014, talked to ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo from his prison in Syria, where he has been held since being accused by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) for being a member of Daesh*. He said that he was missing his mum and the home comforts of British life, including pasties and Doctor Who.
“I feel British, I am British. My dad's Canadian, if the UK accepted me I would go back to the UK, it's my home, but I don't think that is going to happen," he said in the interview.
Letts, who holds dual nationality through his Canadian father John Letts and British mother Sally Lane, said he hasn’t spoken with his parents for two years and that he doubts officials from either country are going to help him. His parents are currently facing trial in the UK over claims they funded terrorism by sending their son money. They have denied all allegations, insisting their son went to Syria to help refugees.
Letts said he learned Arabic in Jordan before moving on to Kuwait and then eventually to Iraq and Syria. He ended up living on "the Oxford Street of Raqqa" and marrying an Iraqi woman who gave birth to his son. He admitted that his experience living in Raqqa led him to welcome the 2015 Paris attacks at one point.
"To be honest at the time I thought it was a good thing," he told ITV News when asked about his reaction to the terror attacks that left 130 dead in the French capital.
He claimed that he thought of it as retribution for “the children burnt alive” by coalition bombings, but then had a change of heart and realized that innocent people “have nothing to do with it.”
“I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish," he said. “Even if I could just see my mum — I would like just a phone call, I don't know if Britain can do that for me here, but I'd like just a phone call to my mum — it's been two years.”
Letts is held in a prison and has been accused of being a member of Daesh. However, both the UK and Canada have yet to lay charges against him. He was arrested by Kurdish forces while on an attempt to cross the border into Turkey and transferred to a prison in Qamishli in northern Syria, located along the Turkish border.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.