Shocked friends say first British white male to join ISIS



The 'class clown' who became Jihadi Jack: Shocked friends say first British white male to join ISIS was a 'typical middle class boy' who didn't believe in God 


    Jack Letts, 20, told his parents he was going to study Arabic in Kuwait
    The Muslim convert secretly travelled to Syria and is now living in Iraq
    Described as a 'class clown' turned to Islam by his Muslim school friends  
    Before he became a Muslim, Letts drank alcohol and smoked cannabis

    
The first white British youth to join ISIS in Syria was a 'class clown' turned to Islam by his Muslim school friends, MailOnline can reveal.

Jack Letts, who now goes by the name Ibrahim or Abu Muhammed, is living in Iraq after fleeing the UK when he was 18.

The middle-class 20-year-old son of an organic farmer from Oxford told his parents that he was going to study Arabic in Kuwait before secretly travelling to war-torn Syria, arriving in September 2014. 


Jack Letts (circled, middle), who now goes by the name Ibrahim or Abu Muhammed, is living in Iraq after fleeing the UK when he was 18. Friends today said he was a 'class clown' who converted to Islam after being egged on by his Muslim classmates (pictured in 2012)


Jack Letts, who now goes by the name Ibrahim or Abu Muhammed, is living in Iraq after fleeing the UK when he was 18 

MailOnline understands 'Jihadi Jack' is now a frontline fighter for the brutal terror group and lives with his Iraqi wife and his son Muhammed after moving to the Iraqi city of Fallujah from Raqqa.

It is a far cry from his comfortable upbringing at the hands of father, John, an organic farmer and archaeobotanist and his mother, Sally, a books editor.

Friends today said he was a 'class clown' who converted to Islam after being egged on by his Muslim classmates.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, one - who asked to remain anonymous - said: '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.

'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.

'He did talk passionately about ISIS, but I always assumed he meant he opposed them, not that he would join them.'

Letts attended Cherwell School in Oxford, where peers said he was a keen sportsman and avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

Before he converted to Islam, he drank alcohol and occasionally smoked cannabis with his friends. He was also a fan of graffiti art, specifically Banksy, friends said.

'He was liked by a lot of the students. That's why this whole thing of him going to live in Syria and join Isis doesn't make any sense,' the friend told The Sunday Times.

It is thought Jack began to take an interest in the Middle East during the Arab Spring in 2011. Prior to converting to Islam, Jack was an atheist and appeared to have little interest in religion despite being christened as a child.

He went to start learning Arabic and attended the Madina Masjid, a mosque near his home in Oxford, changing his name to Ibrahim - the Arabic version of his original middle name Abraham.

Several of Jack's friends have claimed that the 20-year-old was radicalised in a private prayer meetings and the mosque was not responsible for the hardening of his views. 


Upon reaching Syria, Letts met fellow British ISIS fighter, Omar Hussain (pictured), dubbed the Supermarket jihadi due to his former job as a security guard at Morrisons supermarket

Upon leaving for Syria, Jack lied to his parents and told them he was moving to Kuwait. Unknown to his family, he had already made contact with a ISIS recruiter over social media.

The MailOnline understands that upon reaching Syria, Letts met fellow British ISIS fighter, Omar Hussain, also known as the Supermarket jihadi.

Despite his care in trying to hide his identity, Jack posted several photos of himself posing with weapons, thought have been taken near the Tabqa dam in Syria. 

The transition from Oxford schoolboy to ISIS jihadist has shocked his old friends from school, some of whom have nicknamed him 'Jihadi Jack'. 

His family reportedly refused to comment when approach last week. But a source close to the family told the Sunday Times: 'His mother and father were extremely worried for his safety after he told them that he was in Syria.

'The past two years have been a real nightmare for them. They just wish he can be back home with them.' 

The source also said Jack had expressed an interest in living under Shariah law shortly before he left for Syria.

More than 750 Britons have travelled to Iraq or Syria to join ISIS. Up to 100 of those have been killed.

Shocked friends say first British white male to join ISIS Shocked friends say first British white male to join ISIS Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:32 PM Rating: 5

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