The parents of a man reported to be the first white British youth to join ISIS in Syria have strongly rejected those claims.
The parents of Jack Letts say they are in regular contact with their son, and that he went to Syria to help with the humanitarian effort in the war-torn nation.
His mother Sally, a former books editor, told the Evening Standard:
He is not a member of IS, he is very probably not the first white convert that has gone out there. He does not have a son and is not known as Abu Mohammed.
We spoke to him yesterday and he said he had never had a weapon in his life.
He went out there for humanitarian purposes to help kids in Syrian refugee camps.
It is not as if he is hiding – he tells us what he has for breakfast.
All this is absolutely ridiculous, it is shocking.
We are worried sick. He is in danger every single moment of the day.
He is very naive, very misguided. He wanted to do good in the world and wanted to see for himself. The fact is he did not see the danger or think about his own safety.
We wake every single morning not knowing whether he is alive or dead.
His mother’s claims significantly contradict reports of his indoctrination and suggest he is still in Syria, not Iraq as was suggested yesterday.
The Evening Standard reported that his parents know precisely where in Syria Jack is, but don’t want it published out of concerns for their son’s safety.
An anonymous source close to the family has also rejected media reports.
The source told the Daily Mirror:
There has been an avalanche of misinformation. We don’t want to comment on all of this, but what I will say is that 95 per cent of what has been published is incorrect, it is desperately wrong.
The only truth is that Jack is a Muslim and he is overseas. But everything else is made up and it is just getting worse.
A statement from British police officials has done little to clarify the situation regarding Letts’ status in Iraq and Syria.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard has said:
What is important, and would be expected, is that we do all we can to keep people safe and investigate everyone who returns to the UK to establish if any crimes have been committed and if they are a threat to the UK.