The VICE Guide to Right Now

The Mom of 'Jihadi Jack' Says He Isn't a Jihadi at All

Reports over the weekend alleged that Jack Letts now goes by the name Abu Muhammed and has been fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. His mom insisted it's all nonsense.

by Carlton Férment
27 January 2016, 12:00am

Jack Letts via Facebook

Read: What Going to School with Jihadi John Taught Me About Radicalization

Jack Letts, a white British Muslim from Oxford, is apparently not a member of ISIS, as was reported over the weekend, but a humanitarian aid worker. This is according to his mom, who spoke to the Evening Standard about the claims. Letts was dubbed "Jihadi Jack," but his mother Sally has said her son did not leave the UK for Syria to join the Islamic State, saying she is "bemused" by reports that he did.

Letts headed to Syria after becoming enamored with the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011. According to his mom, he has worked in hospitals and taught a bit while stationed out there. Understandably, though, as he wears a camouflage shirt and a wispy beard and has been photographed in the Middle East, the right-wing media came to the natural conclusion that he instead spends his time waging jihad.

The media had previously reported that Jack had an Iraqi wife, along with a son named Mohammed. His mom, on the other hand, insists he is just "naive" and that "he had never had a weapon in his life."

Sally told the Standard: "It is not as if he is hiding—he tells us what he has for breakfast. All this is absolutely ridiculous; it is shocking. Somehow he is supposed to be a global jihadi? It is absolutely ridiculous."

British media
aid workers
Jack Letts
Sally Letts