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Saturday 19 October 2019

IS bride Smith 'investigated for terrorism'

Lisa Smith talks to the BBC
July 2019
Lisa Smith talks to the BBC July 2019

Islamic State (IS) bride Lisa Smith is under investigation for terrorist offences, a senior garda has revealed.

Smith (38) and her young daughter are currently detained in northern Syria, an area under attack by Turkey after the US earlier this week abandoned its Kurdish allies in the region.

The US move, the decision of President Donald Trump, has opened the door to the potential for thousands of extremist IS prisoners, who had been held by the Kurds, to be freed.

Assistant Commissioner Michael O' Sullivan told RTE News yesterday that Smith is under investigation. She is likely to be questioned by officers here if she returns home.

"Ms Smith is subject to criminal investigation, under the Criminal Justice Terrorist Offences Act 2005," he said.

Radical

"That investigation is continuing. That investigation goes back to 2013. It will continue.

"She has said herself that she does not pose a threat, that she does not hold radical views.

"But like the others that have returned, that has to be part of an assessment."

Mr O'Sullivan said there were conflicting reports about whether or not she wanted to come home, but negotiations are continuing.

He said they have been gathering evidence of terrorist offences and had channels open to them in relation to any offence that may have been committed abroad.

Smith is currently in Ain Issa refugee camp in Syria, where she is being held following the collapse of the IS caliphate.

The Kurds who operate the camp have been forced to redeploy troops to the border to fight the Turkish invasion of northern Syria.

There have been reports guards are now struggling to control the camp, with Islamist "morality police" patrolling it.

Smith, who served in the Air Corps and worked on the Government jet, moved to IS-controlled northern Syria shortly after her conversion to Islam.

She told Norma Costello for RTE News in Syria what she believed in did not materialise when she travelled to Syria four years ago.

"What we believed, we actually thought it was going to be an Islamic state... and we would all be joined as one and be very happy, you know like. It didn't happen," Smith said.

"It wasn't worth it. We failed."

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