Jihadi Jack's father has appeared on Good Morning Britain to berate the UK government for “shirking its responsibility” by stripping the Daesh* fighter of British citizenship, while claiming his son has been tortured in a Syrian jail.
Letts criticised the authorities for tearing up his son’s passport, accusing Britain of passing the responsibility on to his native Canada.
“The British government is shirking its responsibility its passing on a problem that they should be dealing with", he said, adding:
“The victims of ISIS crime deserve some justice here we are shirking our responsibility and passing it on to the Canadians".
Mr Letts acknowledged his son had converted to Islam during a mental health crisis, emphasising that OCD had crippled his son's ability to focus to the extent he found reading properly a challenge.
However, he told the audience Jack had discovered peace in religion and mastered Arabic within about six months, memorising the Koran.
In the words of the young man’s father, his son had “humanitarian reasons for going to the Middle East”:
“He did not go to Syria to join ISIS", said Mr Letts.
If his son worked with terrorists in the region, said John Letts, he should be arrested and punished, adding:
“I’m not soft on terror".
John Letts and his wife Sally Lane were earlier found guilty of funding terrorism in June after they sent their son £223 while he was in Syria despite concerns he was involved in terror.
The statements by John Letts come after the young Oxford Islamist had his passport torn up by the UK Home Office, rendering him thus the responsibility of Canada.
The decision was one of the last made under Theresa May as prime minister and Sajid Javid as home secretary, and is understood to have been endorsed by their respective successors, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, the Mail on Sunday reported earlier citing anonymous British and Canadian sources.
The young man’s fate is said to be in the hands of the country of his second citizenship now. While international law forbids people from being rendered stateless, British law allows the UK to strip terror suspects abroad of their citizenship if they are a dual national.
According to the Mail's anonymous diplomatic source, Canada is frustrated by the development because Letts has "very little to do with Canada".
The UK authorities' decision dashed Jihadi Jack's hopes of returning to his family in Oxfordshire, something he had been pleading London for.
Jack Letts is currently being held in a prison in northern Syria after being captured by Kurdish forces in 2017.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia