The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
Lowkey begins this latest episode by delving into recent revelations around the case of Shamima Begum, a British national who fled the U.K. as a teenager and joined ISIS in Syria. Lowkey examines the new admission that a Canadian secret service agent trafficked at least 140 British citizens into Syria. He also examines Turkish police claims that this agent’s handler was believed to be British intelligence working out of the Canadian Embassy. It is important to remember that the British Monarch is the head of state in Canada.
When asked about these activities, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau responded that his intelligence agencies must be “creative and flexible.” To gauge the response to this, Lowkey is joined by Sally Letts, the mother of Jack Letts, a Canadian citizen who is currently detained in a prison in Northern Syria after travelling there during the war. Both Letts and Begum have had their British citizenship stripped by the government, despite the question marks surrounding their journeys there.
As a direct reply to Trudeau, Sally Letts suggests his statement could be read as meaning that it is “perfectly acceptable for the Canadian Security Service here to engage in child trafficking.”
Richard Walton, former head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, sought to justify this policy:
If you are running agents on the ground, you are acquiescing to what they are doing. You are turning a blind eye”.
During the podcast, Sally and Lowkey explored the Active Change Foundation and its curious role in obtaining the conviction of her and her husband for funding terrorism. Their son had been imprisoned three times by ISIS and his family sought to rescue him. Discussing how this Prevent-backed counter-extremist organization, which initially portrayed itself to be an ally to the family, was secretly gathering intel and giving false impressions to the family about rescuing their son. This in turn led to the conviction of Jack’s parents. Thus, the steps taken by Active Change Foundation toward the Letts family are eerily reminiscent of FBI entrapment cases in the United States.
Sally Letts identifies parallel similarities between her son’s case and Shamima Begum, pointing out that the person who facilitated Jack’s journey to Syria has gone uncharged by the police, despite ample evidence. Sally told Lowkey that the family now believes it likely that the person that facilitated Jack’s entry is an informant of the intelligence services. She laments the dehumanization of both Shamima Begum and her son Jack have been,
Demonized as monsters. They are not given human rights like other people…universal human rights seem to have been thrown out the window in all of these cases under the guise of terrorism.”
Join Lowkey today for a critically important discussion about current events and the future of the world, and do not forget to subscribe on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.