The Briton who ran away to join Islamic State as a teenager has told Sky News he wants to be released from jail to join the fight against Islamist radicalisation.
In an interview from prison, Jack Letts told Sky News he does not care about being stripped of his British citizenship, because he would not want to live in a country governed by Boris Johnson anyway.
“I’m being truthful when I’m saying I want to make a difference,” he told Sky News.
“I want to make up to the world that which I did against it.”The 24-year-old, known as ‘Jihadi Jack’, said he wants to persuade other Muslims not to be lured into joining extremist terror groups.
He said: “If I could do something to help them from making the same mistake that I did, I would love to do that, I think that would be great.”
Letts was arrested as he tried to flee IS territory into Turkey. He claims he deserted the terror group because he decided they were not Islamic.
“I accidentally joined a mafia in Iraq and Syria, maybe not a mafia, but a very bad group of people, thinking they are Muslims.
“If I had learned Islam properly, If I had understood I would have learned that these were a very bad group of people. I wouldn’t have been in the situation that I’m in,” he said.
To sceptics who might suspect him of lying to try and secure release from jail where he is being held in Iraq, he said he had given up hope of being let out any time soon
Letts said: “I genuinely think I’m going to stay here for more years. I don’t think anything’s going to change soon.
“I don’t think Canada’s going to help, I don’t think Britain can help. So me lying is not really going to make a difference.”
Mr Johnson’s government has endorsed Theresa May’s decision to strip Letts of his citizenship. Canada condemned that decision as the UK “offloading its responsibilities”.
Letts said he was not bothered by the decision.
“I genuinely don’t care if they give me a piece of paper saying whether I’m British or not,” he told Sky News.
“I’m British because my mother’s British and her family have been British for 5000 years. It’s not something that comes on a piece of paper and can be taken, at any time.”
He told Sky News he would not want to live in the UK in the current political climate.
“I don’t want to live in a Britain that’s being governed by Boris Johnson and his private school group. I think Boris Johnson is ridiculous. I don’t want to live in his Britain to be honest. I don’t want your passport anyway,” he added.
Letts says he will only be able to tell his full story when he is freed from jail, should that ever happen. But he says he did not carry out atrocities while a member of IS.
His parents have appealed to Canada to accept their son, who says he is wracked with guilt because of what he has done to them.
Letts said: “Of course I feel guilty. With a stupid decision I made I ruined my family. I don’t know to what extent because I don’t know exactly what happened in Britain but I know that the state of my family is terrible. It’s terrible. It’s worse than being in prison itself, knowing what I did to them.”
He has not been able to speak to them directly for two-and-a-half years but sent them this message via Sky News: “I miss you both and I’m sorry.
“You know that I feel guilty. Probably the most guilty in my whole life.
“I’ve ruined my life. I’ve ruined to some extent your lives. I made a big mistake. I miss you a lot.”