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Sunday, 24 January 2016
Jihadi Jack’ first white British boy to join Isis
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From the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday

The first white British youth to join ISIS in Syria was a 'class clown' turned to Islam by his Muslim school friends, MailOnline can reveal. ..the middle-class 20-year-old son of an organic farmer from Oxford

MailOnline understands 'Jihadi Jack' is now a frontline fighter for the brutal terror group and lives with his Iraqi wife and his son Muhammed in the Iraqi city of Fallujah having earlier lived in Raqqa, Syria.Jack Letts, now known as Ibrahim or by the name Abu Muhammed, told his parents that he was going to study Arabic in Kuwait before secretly travelling to Syria, arriving in September 2014 when he was 18.

His father, John, is an organic farmer and archaeobotanist who specialises in growing and milling heritage grains. His mother, Sally, is a former books editor.

Letts’s parents, who live in Oxford, declined to comment, but a source close to the family said: “His mother and father were extremely worried for his safety after he told them that he was in Syria. The past two years have been a real nightmare for them. They just wish he can be back home with them.”

His decision to join Isis has surprised former friends at Cherwell School, Oxford, who knew him as a talented sportsman and passionate supporter of Liverpool football club.

“He was very funny and fun to be around,” recalled one former school friend, who said Letts had now been nicknamed “Jihadi Jack” by some of his peers.

A family friend said that before leaving Britain, Letts had spoken of wanting to live under sharia, or Islamic law.  “He’s a great kid who is very much driven by helping people. He was concerned about the deaths of innocent lives in Syria and would often say that he would love to help save the life of even one person even if it meant that he was killed by the Syrian government,” Unknown to his family, he had already made contact with a ISIS recruiter over social media.

It is thought Jack began to take an interest in the Middle East during the Arab Spring in 2011. Prior to converting to Islam, Jack was an atheist and appeared to have little interest in religion despite being christened as a child.

He went to start learning Arabic and attended the Madina Masjid, a mosque near his home in Oxford, changing his name to Ibrahim - the Arabic version of his original middle name Abraham. Several of Jack's friends have claimed that the 20-year-old was radicalised in a private prayer meetings and the mosque was not responsible for the hardening of his views. Having 'egged him on' of course they would deny this. 

However, he quickly began to distance himself from his non-Muslim friends, whom he considered “kuffar” (non-believers) and immersed himself in Islamic literature. A source said he tried to convince his family and friends to become Muslims, warning them they would go to hell unless they converted.

In May last year Letts posted three photographs that appear to have been taken near the Tabqa Dam, 25 miles outside Raqqa on the Euphrates. In one, he is wearing combat-style clothing and has his index finger raised in praise of Allah. An accompanying caption reads: “Before swimming, was lovely”.

The MailOnline understands that upon reaching Syria, Letts met fellow British ISIS fighter, Omar Hussain, also known as the Supermarket jihadi.

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Posted on 01/24/2016 7:02 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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