Jack Letts famously dubbed as ‘Jihadi Jack’ has had his citizenship revoked it has been reported. Letts was 18 when he left for Syria to join IS, dropping out of his A Levels, leaving behind his comfortable life and loving family in Oxfordshire. Parents Sally Lane and Mr Letts are reported to be angered by the move from the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid for revoking Jack Letts citizenship. Understandably, it may come to pass that seeing their son back in the U.K. maybe impossible and they are within their rights to be upset about this.
Jack Letts is a dual UK-Canadian national and was jailed after being captured whilst attempting to flee to Turkey. Given his dual nationality, it is understood that the Home Office were exercising their obligation, in that this is ‘conducive to the public good’ and working within the law when revoking Letts’ citizenship. However the parents of Letts were both ‘shocked’’, with Mr Letts likening it to being ‘kicked in the gut.’
But what are they shocked about? How is this a kick in the gut? These emotive terms used by both Mr Letts and Sally Lane only goes to demonstrate that like the Liberal Left, when the law is applied correctly, it must not be done so if it is to do with someone that has declared themselves ‘an enemy of Britain.’ We only have to look at the uproar when Shamima Begum’s citizenship was revoked. Despite her admitting that seeing severed heads didn’t bother her, despite Begum admitting she helped and supported IS and knew exactly what she was doing when she travelled there, and that the real reason she wanted to return to Britain was not because Britain was great, but because the Islamic Caliphate wasn’t what she thought it would be. But the Liberal Left conveniently ignore this and appear to be more concerned for her right to return for trial, than supporting the U.K Government in preventing dangerous individuals from entering back into the U.K. The same now seems to be true for Jihadi Jack.
Jihadi Jack, in an interview with BBC’s Quentin Sommerville admitted that he knew he was “definetly an enemy of Britain.” He goes on further to add “I’m not going to say I’m innocent. I’m not innocent. I deserve what comes to me. But I just want it to be… appropriate… not just haphazard, freestyle punishment in Syria.” What this demonstrates is that Jihadi Jack, is appealing to the good -will and nature of the U.K. Government for him to be treated fairly and to be treated fairly in the U.K. But this is a bizarre claim from Jack. He is in Syria, entirely of his own making, and he should be tried there, as that is where the alleged offences occurred, rather than the more palatable U.K. Courts. It is not for him to determine where he is tried, but rather it is for the U.K. Government to determine why he shouldn’t be tried here.
I am reminded of what the RH Peter Hain said on matters regarding offences committed abroad; “British nationals detained abroad are subject to local jurisdiction wherever they commit their crimes. We respect the right of other countries to decide their own sentencing guidelines in accordance with their laws, customs and culture – just as we would ask them to do for us.” However, for the Liberal Left, this is not acceptable when it comes to Jihadis or those supporting IS. But this is puzzling since they spend most of their time complaining of the U.K. interfering in sovereign foreign nation’s affairs. On the one hand they blame foreign policy for people being radicalised, then on the other, they expect foreign policy to bring back these radicalised individuals so we can treat them better than the illegitimate Islamic State they sought to join.
The U.K. Government will not knowingly act in bad faith or consciously operate outside of the confines of the law. This great nation, though not perfect, but comparably better than most nations, is not a dictatorship, nor is it by nature bad. But to position it to be so, suggests that the issue is with it and not with Jihadi Jack. This shift of blame, avoidance of autonomy and agency of self-confessed enemies of Britain, sets the tone that unlawful behaviour will be rewarded by support from the Liberal Left, rather than the authority seeking to punish them within the law.
When did we become so concerned with supporting those wishing to do us harm, than with those wishing to prevent harm being done to us? This trial against the Government, by the Liberal Left in the name of ‘due process’ is misguided. The U.K. Government’s first priority is the safety and security of its citizens, not bending over backwards to bring back IS Jihadis to the U.K. with only a 1 in 10 chance of a successful prosecution. Our obligation must be with the citizens wishing to do good for the nation, not investing public funds on those wishing to do us harm.
I am of the opinion that there is no public good in bringing Jihadi Jack back to the U.K. and that the merits of a potential case appear tenuous. Thus, if it is argued that having confidence in our judicial system is conducive to the public good, then it is not necessary to demonstrate that with prosecuting returning Jihadis with little chance of success. But as many from the Liberal Left complain of the U.K. Government’s interference in foreign nation’s affairs, that same sentiment doesn’t appear to be granted when the Canadian Government get involved in our affairs and are disappointed with our decision of revoking Jack’s citizenship, despite it being lawful. This is not a case of ‘off-loading our problems to someone else’ but rather using the very same law and due process that the Liberal Left expect us to.