Thursday, 9 Jul 2020

Isil bride Smith to be offered advice on her safety by gardaí

Gardaí will offer personal security advice to Isil bride Lisa Smith when they are finished questioning her about terrorist offences.

The 38-year-old remained at Kevin Street garda station last night and officers are expected to get her period of detention extended by another 24 hours by a district court judge today.

A senior source confirmed Ms Smith “is co-operating with the investigation and is engaging with questions from gardaí”.

“There is a huge volume of material to put to her as specialist detectives have been investigating this case for many months, but she is talking and answering questions,” a senior source said last night.

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“In particular, she is being questioned about her past relationships with a number of men who are Islamic terrorist suspects.”

In an unusual move, on Sunday her family were allowed to have a meal with her in the garda station.

If Ms Smith is released without charge this week pending a decision from the DPP, sources say that she will be offered detailed safety advice by gardaí.

“She is obviously a very high-profile person and her decision to travel to what was then known as the Islamic State has made her very unpopular with many people in Ireland and this is why it would be important that she be given security advice in relation to her own personal safety,” a source said.

Dundalk woman Ms Smith, a former member of the Defence Forces, is being questioned about alleged terrorist offences abroad.

It is the first time the main legislation in this instance, the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, would be used against an Irish person suspected of engaging in terrorist activities overseas.

As well as the criminal investigation, gardaí have carried out a security assessment on Ms Smith, as they have done in the case of five other people who have returned from conflict zones, so that they can be satisfied she does not pose a security threat to the country.


Detectives are interviewing her under caution about her activities, movements, communications and contacts online and in person in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Ireland since she converted to Islam in 2012.

The investigation carried out by gardaí and military intelligence has resulted in a large dossier of information about Ms Smith’s contacts online at home and abroad with other Isil sympathisers, as well as her movements when she travelled to Tunisia, Turkey and Syria.

Over the past year, she has consistently denied suggestions she was actively involved in any terrorist activities.

While in custody, Ms Smith is being asked detailed questions about her activities in Syria and the extent of her support for and alleged involvement in Isil.

Investigating gardaí “are facilitating” her religious beliefs, which means interviews have been suspended so that she has an opportunity to pray.

Her solicitor said he believed that “the evidence of the State is inherently weak” in the case against his client.

“We believe that Lisa has a very strong case to make and is making that case,” said human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin, speaking on RTÉ’s ‘Morning Ireland’.

Ms Smith was arrested by Special Branch officers in Dublin Airport on Sunday as she was escorted home on a flight from Turkey with her two-year-old daughter, who is now being cared for by relatives in Co Louth under the supervision of Tusla.

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