Monday 19 August 2019

Isil bride Lisa Smith says she never trained with Islamic State as she pleads to return home with daughter

Lisa Smith: The Louth woman is in a Syrian camp with her daughter
Lisa Smith: The Louth woman is in a Syrian camp with her daughter

Press Association

A former Irish soldier who went to live in Islamic State-controlled Syria has reportedly denied fighting for the jihadist militants.

Lisa Smith, a 37-year-old originally from Co Louth, is currently living in a refugee camp in Syria.

Irish IS bride Lisa Smith
Irish IS bride Lisa Smith

In an interview with The Mail On Sunday speaking to journalist Norma Costello, she spoke of her desire to return to Ireland with her two-year-old daughter, whom she claims was born to a British father while living in IS territory, a man she says died in the last three months.

"For me, I want to go back to my country," the former member of the Defence Forces told the newspaper.

"She's (daughter) my number one priority now that's why I want to leave and take her home with me and get her educated.

"People here are not educated."

In the interview with the newspaper, she added: "The only thing for me what I can do anyway is just live my life the way I live it, in my own home, with my daughter, and bring my daughter up.

"I don't want to cause problems for anyone, I don't want to mix, I'm still me, I'm still like a good neighbour, I'm still a good friend, I'm just still me.

Mother and daughter: Lisa Smith with her two-year old daughter Ruqayya in Syria
Mother and daughter: Lisa Smith with her two-year old daughter Ruqayya in Syria

"I'm not, like, out to kill anyone, I don't believe in suicide attacks."

According to the newspaper report, when asked whether she fought for Isis, Ms Smith said: "No, I didn't do anything."

She reportedly added: "I didn't even own a gun.

"My husband many times said to me, 'you want me to buy you one?' I said no.

"He said 'it's just for self-defence' or, I said: 'I don't want, I don't want'.

"I think anyone that knows me, you know in the army or outside the army or anywhere in my life, will know that, they know me, that I wouldn't pick up the weapon and fight and stuff like that.

"I didn't do it, I didn't own a rifle, I didn't teach them anything."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already indicated that Ms Smith would be permitted to return to Ireland if she wished.

But he has said a security assessment would have to be carried to make sure she is not a threat to anyone in Ireland.

Asked if she should face investigation in Ireland, Ms Smith told The Mail On Sunday: "I don't think I should be tried.

"If they want to put an investigation on me, I have nothing to hide.

"The only thing I did was come here and, if that's my crime, like a lot of other people's, for coming here and realising I made a mistake."

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