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'Jihadi Jack's' parents 'arrested after trying to send him money'

Published 05/02/2016

The couple claim they were arrested under the terrorism act after trying to send him for new glasses
The couple claim they were arrested under the terrorism act after trying to send him for new glasses

The parents of a British Muslim convert accused of joining Islamic State (IS) in Syria say they were arrested after trying to send him money.

Jack Letts, dubbed "Jihadi Jack", was suspected of being the first white Briton to join the terror group after he left his Oxford home and travelled to the war-ravaged country last year.

The 20-year-old reportedly goes by the name Abu Mohammed, married an Iraqi woman with whom he has a son, Muhammed, while living in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

His parents Sally Lane and John Letts were allegedly arrested under the terrorism act after trying to send him money in Syria, which they claim was for new glasses.

They said, in an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News, that their son suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and fear he "won't get out alive".

Mr Letts, a leading organic farmer and baker, said: "We don't know exactly where he is. If you know he's in danger or can't see straight, what parent isn't going to try get their child a pair of glasses if he can't see straight.

"I'm furious really. I'm very upset. I think it's crazy that we can't send a penny to our ill son to help him get out or to help him in any way because we'll be seen as supporting terrorism."

He added: "Any parent's going to act the way we have and feel the way we do. You wouldn't be a parent if you didn't try to protect your child."

Ms Lane said: "It's the worst feeling in the world. You feel completely helpless. Your child is out there. They have no support. They're still reliant on you.

"He's sending desperate messages to us saying it's cold or he doesn't have food or he can't see. We know that legally we're not allowed to help him. I just don't understand that."

The couple say their son was diagnosed with "really severe" OCD as a child after his behaviour became increasingly "peculiar".

Ms Lane insisted he would not lie to her about fighting for IS and Mr Letts claimed the police have "put two and two together and made ten".

"He has the freedom to practice whatever he wants, that's British values," he added.

"It's so unfair, but if there is any evidence that he's done anything violent, if anyone can prove any of these allegations ... If you can show me any of that I'll be the first to believe it and I'll be the first to report it.

"Because I don't want a son who would do that type of thing, because that is not how he was raised, and I don't think that's him. That is not the kid that I recognise."

"We have directly asked him. We know he won't lie about his religion because anything to do with his religion he thinks he'll go straight to hell," Ms Lane added.

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