August 19, 2019 / 5:16 PM / 3 months ago

Islamist fighter stripped of UK citizenship hopes Canada will take him

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A Muslim convert who was stripped of his British citizenship after travelling to Syria to fight with Islamic State said on Monday he hoped Canada, where he is a citizen, would take him from the Kurdish prison he is being held in.

Canada said on Sunday that it was disappointed with Britain’s decision to “off-load their responsibilities” by removing Jack Letts’s citizenship.

In an interview with ITV News, Letts, dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the media, said he was not surprised he had lost his British citizenship.

“I don’t think where you are from is based on a piece of paper. These things have very little meaning to me to be honest. I don’t think British citizenship is a big deal,” he said, according to quotes provided by ITV.

“I’ve always felt that I am Canadian, my Dad is Canadian, and I never grew up being accepted as a British person anyway ... I hope Canada does take me from here, I could go there, to prison of course.”

In an ITV interview from February, Letts said he wanted to return to Britain because he considered it to be his home.

Letts travelled from Britain to Syria to fight with Islamic State in 2014 when he was 18, according to media reports, and has been held in a Kurdish prison for the last two years after being caught as he attempted to flee to Turkey. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Ed Osmond)

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