Friday 6 December 2019

Detectives ready to arrest Lisa Smith as soon as she lands at airport

Lisa Smith is set to be flown home with her daughter. Photo: Tom Conachy
Lisa Smith is set to be flown home with her daughter. Photo: Tom Conachy

Tom Brady and Kevin Doyle

ISIL bride Lisa Smith faces being arrested as soon she steps off the plane from Turkey later this month.

Gardaí have almost completed a substantial file on the Isil sympathiser and former Defence Forces member.

The final element of the file will be put in place when anti-terrorism officers interview Ms Smith after she arrives home from Turkey later this month.

She will be approached as soon as she steps off the flight, and will then be either interviewed voluntarily, or arrested for questioning, depending on her co-operation.

READ MORE: Tom Brady: 'Consistent stance taken over Lisa Smith is the right route to justice'

Ms Smith is likely to be detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows gardaí to hold her for questioning without charge for up to 72 hours.She will be questioned about her suspected engagement in terrorist activities overseas and can be charged with a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005.

Ms Smith (38), who formerly worked on the Government Jet as a member of the Air Corps, is likely to fly home directly from Istanbul on a commercial plane along with her two-year-old daughter.

If she does not co-operate with the Turkish authorities, she will be deported from there, probably within the next 12 days.

READ MORE: 'All sorts of questions' to be answered 'if and when' Isis bride Lisa Smith returns - Tánaiste

Other options for flying her home have also been considered, but it is expected she will be put on a commercial flight with Department of Foreign Affairs officials and two members of the Army Ranger Wing, who will be responsible for her safety as she is being moved from her "secure" house on the Turkey-Syria border to the airport in Istanbul.

Gardaí will take control of the operation when Ms Smith arrives in Dublin.

Her level of co-operation and the possibility of her posing a security threat back home will be assessed and questions put to her about her activities since she left the country to join Isil in 2015.

READ MORE: Isil bride Smith to be repatriated as Turkey begins to send fighters home

The file will then be completed by gardaí and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will determine if she should face criminal charges under the 2005 legislation.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said there would be "all sorts of questions around radicalisation" to be answered "if and when" Ms Smith is brought back to Ireland.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said his "primary concern" was a vulnerable child and as a result he wanted "to get the job done".

"My primary concern is a two-year-old girl who, in my view, as an Irish citizen we have an obligation to protect, and that is what is driving all of this," he told the Dáil.

READ MORE: Lisa Smith among detainees to be deported from Islamic State

Irish Independent

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