Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

British ISIS sympathiser ‘wanted to behead soldier’

Jack Letts made the comments via Facebook after travelling to Syria, court heard

John Letts and Sally Lane, the parents of Jack Letts, arrive for their court case over money sent to their son in Syria. PA  
John Letts and Sally Lane, the parents of Jack Letts, arrive for their court case over money sent to their son in Syria. PA  

The parents of a Muslim convert suspected of travelling to Syria to join ISIS sent him money despite his rants about wanting to behead an old school friend who had joined the army, a court heard.

Jack Letts made the comments via Facebook from Syria and told his mother that attacking the British army was a “praiseworthy action” and that he hoped to put “six bullets” into the head of his former fellow pupil, a jury was told.

A court in London heard that Mr Letts travelled to the Middle East with his parents’ blessing when he was 18, but they later became concerned that he had became a “pawn” in a project to spread hatred.

His mother, Sally Lane, bought him a return flight to Jordan in 2014 despite concerns that he had been radicalised at a local mosque and was going to fight in Syria, it was alleged.

He travelled from there to Kuwait and then on to Iraq and Syria. The court had heard that Letts had received an email from a student in Kuwait before he headed to Syria warning of concerns about the company he was keeping there.

By early 2015, his parents had learned that he married in Iraq and had no intention of returning to the UK. In May 2015, he posted a picture of himself standing on a dam in Raqqa, in the heart of ISIS territory.

Jurors were told that two months later, a childhood acquaintance posted pictures of himself on Facebook after completing and artillery course for the army.

Letts was alleged to have said: “I would love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene.”

After he was challenged by his mother about his “stupid” comments, he added: “I admit it was wrong if I seemed like I was joking. I genuinely believe attacking the British Army is a very praiseworthy action when the intention is correct.”

He added: “I hope he finds himself lost in Beji or Fallujah one day and sees me whilst I’m armed and I put six bullets in his head…’

The court was told that John Letts, 58, and his wife, sent money later that year to their son despite being warned by police that they risked prosecution. They are accused of trying to send more than £1,700.

Ms Lane allegedly transferred money to an account in Lebanon in September after her son said it had nothing do with terrorism. She later told police that he hoped he would use it to buy glasses.

The couple, who live in Oxford, have denied three counts of funding terrorism. The trial continues.

Updated: May 23, 2019 09:08 PM

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