Oxford

IS suspect Jack Letts 'under investigation'

Jack Letts
Image caption Jack Letts posted a picture on Facebook claiming to be at the Tabqa Dam outside Raqqa in Syria

A British man who reportedly travelled to Iraq to join the so-called Islamic State group is being investigated by UK authorities.

Jack Letts, 20, from Oxford, has been labelled "Jihadi Jack" by some newspapers, which reported he left the UK to join the group when he was 18.

But his parents have dismissed the claims as "false" and said he travelled to the region for humanitarian reasons.

Police confirmed Mr Letts had been under investigation since March 2015.

The South East Counter Terrorism Unit (Sectu) said it was aware of the recent media reports and "can confirm we are investigating".

'Absolutely ridiculous'

"This investigation began in March 2015 and is ongoing," Sectu added.

"We are unable to comment [on] any specifics... but would like to say that anyone who knows of someone who may be potentially vulnerable to being drawn into terrorist-related activity, including travelling abroad to conflict zones, should contact local police."

On his Facebook page Mr Letts also said the reports were false.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail newspaper his parents John and Sally Letts described their son as "a really kind, funny kid who is very gentle".

They said he travelled to Kuwait in the summer of 2014 to learn Arabic, before travelling to Syria in September 2014.

They believe he is now in the war-torn country, possibly working in hospitals or as a translator.

His mother said media reports claiming he had adopted the name Ibrahim or Abu Muhammed and had a son in Iraq were "absolutely ridiculous".

But she said he had converted to Islam and reports he was married could be true.

On Facebook, Jack Letts said: "Maybe they got bored worrying about what colour socks certain celebrities wear and took out the frustration on me."

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