The first white British male to join the so-called Islamic State has been named as 20-year-old Jack Letts from Oxford.
Letts, who now reportedly goes by the names Ibrahim or Abu Muhammed, fled the UK at the age of 18 by telling his parents he was going to Kuwait to study Arabic.
His father, an organic farmer and archaeobotanist, and his mother, a books editor, were then left shocked upon discovering their son had instead traveled to Syria in order to join militants in Raqqa.
A friend that wished to remain anonymous told MailOnline that they believe Letts has been brainwashed into accepting extremist beliefs.
I feel like he has been exploited. No one wants to fight in ISIS unless they’ve been brainwashed. It’s really alarming how powerfully he has changed.
He was always an atheist, pretty liberal, typical middle class kid. I went to primary and secondary school with him, in both he was the class clown but didn’t take it too far, he still was smart and got fair grades.Advertisement
Then he started befriending a group of Muslim boys at the school and that exposed him to Islam. I noticed he started becoming very preachy and was using Arabic, which was strange because I only ever saw him as a typical Oxford boy.
Then he started growing a beard, becoming more reserved, deleting his photos on Facebook, he sort of disappeared into a world where he only associated with like-minded people.
His parents were always kind and nice, very loving and providing, they lived a good life and Jack had a good upbringing.Advertisement
He did talk passionately about ISIS, but I always assumed he meant he opposed them, not that he would join them.
A far cry from his life under the strict regime of ISIS, the Daily Mail also reported that Letts was a lover of graffiti, particularly the work of Banksy, and would drink alcohol and smoke cannabis with friends.
Now Letts is believed to be living in the Iraqi city of Fallujah with his wife and a son named Muhammed. It is also reported that he claims to be a frontline fighter.