Tuesday 20 August 2019

'I'm not a terrorist and not out to kill anyone' - Irish Isil bride

Smith was not 'radicalised' but saw 'brutality'

Dundalk native Lisa Smith in a BBC interview
Dundalk native Lisa Smith in a BBC interview

Gabija Gataveckaite and Kirsty Blake Knox

Isil bride and former Defence Forces member Lisa Smith has denied she was radicalised and says she is "not out to kill anyone".

In an interview with the BBC, Ms Smith explained that she wants to live in an "actual caliphate" and not a "brutality group".

Smith pictured during her days in the Defence Forces
Smith pictured during her days in the Defence Forces

The Irish citizen joined Isil four years ago and is now attempting to return to Ireland with her two-year-old daughter.

She is currently detained at the Al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria.

"I'm not a terrorist, I'm not out to kill anyone," she said.

"If you ask me am I gonna hurt anyone, no, have I got any intentions to do anything, no," she told the interviewer.

"I'm just interested in trying to bring my daughter up and get her educated.

"I don't even think I'm radicalised, you know.

"At the beginning I didn't come to kill anyone and when I was there I didn't kill anyone and when I go home I won't kill anyone, I just think I'm the same, you know," she added.

The Dundalk native said that she wanted to live in an "actual caliphate" instead of a "brutality group".

"I want for myself an actual caliphate, as in a Muslim country, not in a group or in a brutality group," she said.

"I think there was a lot of brutality in [Isil]."

She denied ever taking part in the fighting, or even picking up a gun, claiming that she wasn't allowed.

"Even if I wanted to go fight, if I tried to go fight, they wouldn't let me," she said.

Ms Smith also denied teaching girls aged nine to 12 how to fight.

"So not true," she said in response to the claims.

"Bring these girls to my face and we'll all sit here and they can see my face we'll speak and see the truth."

Ms Smith also declined to comment on claims that Yazidi women were murdered, raped and enslaved.

"I cannot say because I don't know, and I cannot say who's telling the truth and who's lying.

"I'll have to hear both sides and then make a decision, you know," she added.

Yesterday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ms Smith has requested and is receiving consular assistance.

"But we need to bear in mind that where she is is a war zone, and we don't want to put any of our diplomatic staff or officials at risk in any way," he said.

"I'm very conscious that whatever people may think about what Lisa Smith has done, that her child is innocent, her child is an Irish citizen and we will assist them."

Mr Varadkar also said that the Government has been in touch with her family .

"But that is a private matter and I don't want to go into the details on that," he said. "If she returns to Ireland there will need to be an investigation into her activities certainly.

"We have to put the safety interests of Irish citizens and people living in Ireland are the biggest concern in this.

"Should she return she will be interviewed, there will be a security assessment done to make sure she's never a threat to others.

"But let's never forget there is a child involved."

Irish Independent

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