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Parents of 'Jihadi Jack' sent him money in Syria despite knowing he had joined IS

Jack Letts was captured by Kurdish YPG forces while fleeing from Raqqa. [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 May, 2019

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Jack Letts converted to Islam at the age of 16 and travelled to Syria in 2014. He was later captured by Kurdish YPG forces while fleeing from Raqqa.

The parents of a British man dubbed 'Jihadi Jack' sent him money knowing that he was likely a member of the Islamic State group, a court in the UK has heard.

Jack Letts, 23, converted to Islam aged-16 and travelled to Syria in 2014.  He was later captured by Kurdish YPG forces while fleeing from Raqqa.

The Old Bailey in London heard that his parents, John Letts, 58, and Sally Lane, 56, from Oxford, sent or attempted to send more than £1,700 to their son despite warnings from police and terrorism experts not to do so.

The couple deny three charges of funding terrorism.

Muslim friends of Jack in Oxford had feared he had become radicalised and contacted them to warn of the possibility their son could leave to join IS in Syria, the court was told, urging them to confiscate his passport.

Despite the warnings, the coupled paid for a flight to Jordan for Jack in May 2014, apparently for a study trip.

By September 2014 they realised he must have entered Syria. The family kept in touch by Facebook, text, email and mobile phone.

"They sent money to their son with knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that it might be used by him or others to support terrorist activity, or that it might fall into the hands of others who would use it for that purpose," Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said.

The trial continues.

Earlier this year Letts said in an interview with British broadcaster ITV News that he wanted to return to the UK.

"I feel British, I am British. If the UK accepted me, I would go back to the UK, but I don't think that’s going to happen," he said.

His interview followed widespread attention on the case of 19-year-old Briton Shamima Begum, who left the UK aged 15 to live under the IS group.

The UK stripped Begum of her British citizenship.

Jack Letts reportedly married an Iraqi woman with whom he had a son while in Syria, living under the name Abu Mohammed.

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