Wednesday 24 April 2019

Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith says she never fought for ISIS

Dundalk woman claims she never bore arms during time in Syria

Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith
Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith

Olivia Ryan

The Dundalk woman who went to live in Islamic State controlled Syria has reportedly denied fighting for ISIS during her time living there.

Lisa Smith, a former member of the 27th Battalion, who went on to work for the Air Corps made a series of claims in the latest interview she gave from the Syrian camp where she is now stranded with her two year old daughter.

In an interview with 'The Mail On Sunday' 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.' She described her daughter as '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 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.'

She went on to say: '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.'

She also denied holding extremist views, 'I'm not, like, out to kill anyone, I don't believe in suicide attacks.'

When asked if she had actively fought for ISIS, she said 'No, I didn't do anything. I didn't even own a gun. My husband many times said to me, 'you want me to buy you one?' I said no.'

She added: '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 out to make sure she is not a threat to anyone in Ireland.

Asked if she should face investigation in Ireland, she replied: '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.'

The Argus