IS recruit loses UK citizenship

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London, Aug 18 (IANS) A British Muslim convert who joined the Islamic State (IS) terror group as a teenager has had his UK citizenship revoked, the media reported on Sunday.

Jack Letts, who was nicknamed ‘Jihadi Jack’, was 18 years old when he left school in Oxfordshire in 2014 to join IS fighters in Raqqa, Syria, the BBC reported.

He was jailed after being captured by Kurdish YPG forces while attempting to flee to Turkey in May 2017.

The Mail newspaper on Sunday said the move was one of the final decisions made by the government of former PM Theresa May.

While the Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases, a spokesman added: “Decisions on depriving a dual national of citizenship are based on substantial advice from officials, lawyers and the intelligence agencies and all available information.

“This power is one way we can counter the terrorist threat posed by some of the most dangerous individuals and keep our country safe.”

Letts converted to Islam when he was 16 and is a dual UK-Canadian national.

In an earlier interview with the BBC, Letts said: “I know I was definitely an enemy of Britain.”

After being pressed on why he left the UK to join the jihadi group, he said: “I thought I was leaving something behind and going to something better.”

His parents, John and Sally Lane were convicted in June this year of funding terrorism after sending their son 223 pounds.

The couple were sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment.

The decision to revoke Letts of his citizenship is thought to be one of the last decisions made by former Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.

It comes after then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum, who was one of three girls from east London who left the UK in February 2015 and travelled to Syria, of her UK citizenship earlier this year.

–IANS

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