Republic of Ireland news

Solicitor representing 'IS bride' Lisa Smith says case against her is weak

Lisa Smith, who became a so-called Islamic State bride in Syria, arriving back in Dublin on Sunday with her two-year-old daughter.
By Cate McCurry, PA

A Belfast-based solicitor representing a former member of the Irish defence forces who became a so-called Islamic State bride in Syria has insisted she was not a member of a terrorist organisation.

Darragh Mackin claimed the evidence against Lisa Smith is "inherently weak" and does not point to any terrorist offences.

The 38-year-old was still being questioned by gardaí yesterday after she was arrested at Dublin Airport on Sunday following her arrival from Turkey with her two-year-old daughter.

Ms Smith went to war-torn Syria in 2015 after converting to Islam.

Mr Mackin, a partner at Phoenix Law, said the investigation is in its early stages but she is fully co-operating.

Speaking to RTE's Morning Ireland, he said: "We are satisfied that the investigation is progressing at a reasonable speed and we hope to bring matters to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

"We are of the view that the evidence at this stage is inherently weak and does not point to any terrorist offences, and we believe Lisa has a very strong case to make and is making that case."

Mr Mackin said "going to a particular location is not the terrorist offence, you must be actively engaged in a terrorist organisation or the terrorist grouping".

"Lisa has categorically denied being involved in any terrorist offence or terrorist group and at this stage there's absolutely no evidence that she's been involved in any organisation or terrorist group.

"We must be clear that the word Islamic State is not necessarily a direct link to Isis, of course there are all those connotations."

In an interview earlier this year, Ms Smith told a journalist that she joined Islamic State but did not fight for them.

"That interview was given at a time when she was detained in a camp," the solicitor added.

"In the camp it was well-known that those women who spoke out or in any way disassociated themselves from the violent end of Isis were subject to threats, to raping, to torture."

Ms Smith's daughter is being cared for by her family while she is being held in custody.

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