There are two Jack Letts, at least so media reports indicate. One is a radical Muslim who, according to articles over the weekend, became the first ethnic English convert from Britain to have traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State group. The other is a 20-year-old convert with an interest in politics and Islam who traveled to Syria as a humanitarian aid worker to assist helpless victims of a brutal five-year civil war.
At first, it was his mother who came out denying media reports that her son was among hundreds of young people from Britain to have joined the extremists, aka ISIS. Now, it’s Letts himself who is calling out the media on the allegations, according to a report in the Independent.
“Its sort of awkward when the media thinks your ISIS and your not,” he reportedly wrote Sunday in a Facebook message rife with spelling errors. “Mabye they got bored worrying about what color socks certain celebrities wear and took out the frustration on me?”
— The Sun (@TheSun) January 26, 2016
Letts converted to Islam during his teenage years and left his home in Oxford for Syria more than a year ago. He initially told his family he was traveling to study Arabic in Kuwait, and they only found out later that he was actually in Syria. Over the weekend, news stories surfaced reporting that Letts was now going by the name Abu Mohammed, and was married with an Iraqi wife and a child.
“One of the funniest articles was the one were [sic] the last sentence was ‘Jack Letts and ISIS have been contacted for comment.' Like me and ISIS have like a shared office in which we recieve [sic] requests for comment and were still thinking about whether to reply or not,” he reportedly wrote.
International Business Times could not verify the authenticity of the Facebook post, reportedly written Sunday. Part of the suspicion that Letts joined ISIS arose due to a photograph posted last May where he appeared with a camouflage shirt in front of Tabqa Dam, which sits just 25 miles from Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital in eastern Syria. He said other people with more extreme views had used his Facebook account.
— Dr. Rizwaan Sabir (@RizwaanSabir) January 26, 2016
Letts is among hundreds of British citizens to have traveled to Syria in recent months. Exactly what his day-to-day life there looks like remains a mystery, but his mother, Sally Letts, said she is in regular contact with him.
“We are worried sick. He is in danger every single moment of the day,” she said. “He is very naive, very misguided. He wanted to do good in the world and wanted to see for himself."