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Mother of ‘Jihadi Jack’ says she’s moving to Canada

Jihadi Jack’s parents stand trial for funding terrorism
The trial of a British-Canadian couple is underway in London. Their son, Jack Letts, dubbed Jihadi Jack, is suspected of joining the so-called Islamic State.

A woman convicted of a terrorism-related offence in the United Kingdom for sending money to her pro-ISIS son Jack Letts is moving to Canada, she told Global News.

Sally Lane said in an email she would travel to Canada by sea to avoid no-fly lists. She is a dual citizen of the U.K. and Canada. She declined to explain why she was moving to Canada.

But she has been encouraging the Canadian government to repatriate her son, who has been detained in Syria since 2017.

READ MORE: Foreign ISIS captives to be prosecuted in Syria, Kurdish forces announce

Lane, 57, and her husband John Letts, 59, received suspended sentences last June after being found guilty of one count of “entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism.”

Prosecutors said the parents had been warned by police not to send money to their son, a Muslim convert who travelled to ISIS territory and wrote on Facebook he would “love to perform a martyrdom operation.”

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“They ignored the advice and in September 2015 sent him £233 via an intermediary in Lebanon nominated by Jack,” Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service wrote in a statement following their conviction.

“Jihadi Jack” Letts near the Raqqah dam, Syria.
“Jihadi Jack” Letts near the Raqqah dam, Syria. U.K. Crown Prosecution Service

Their son, nicknamed “Jihadi Jack” by the British press, is one of six Canadian men detained in Syria following the collapse of ISIS, along with almost a dozen Canadian women and their children.

Although born in the U.K., the 24-year-old was stripped of his British citizenship last August due to his links to ISIS, leaving him with only Canadian citizenship, which he obtained through his father.

The parents have been urging the Canadian government to bring their son back to Canada from northeast Syria, where Kurdish forces are struggling to hold ISIS detainees in overcrowded prisons and camps.

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Pierre Poilievre says Conservatives not seeking to bring ‘Jihadi Jack’ back to Canada
Pierre Poilievre says Conservatives not seeking to bring ‘Jihadi Jack’ back to Canada

Kurdish authorities announced in early February they would begin putting ISIS suspects on trial starting next month. But some experts argue Canada should bring the Canadians back and prosecute them.

According to documents obtained by Global News, the Liberal government’s position is that it has “no legal obligation” to facilitate the return of Canadian ISIS suspects captured abroad.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has also said he would “not lift a finger” to help Letts.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca