Place of Birth: Dundalk, Ireland;
Lisa Smith is a former Irish soldier who converted to Islam and later travelled to Syria during the Syrian Civil War to join the terrorist militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Born in Dundalk, she was a member of the Irish Defence Forces until 2011, serving as a private in the Irish Army before transferring to the Irish Air Corps, where she served as a flight attendant on a government jet during the tenure of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Smith left the Defence Forces following her conversion to Islam, which was reported in 2011 by the Irish Independent in a now-deleted article. In 2015, she left Ireland to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria following the breakdown of her marriage. In 2019, she was captured and detained by the US forces in northern Syria.
In a profile published on March 9, 2019, the Irish Independent reported that Smith had probably travelled to Syria a few months after their 2011 interview with her, but that she was definitely in Syria in 2015. Reporters quoted relatives who asserted that she had never been a member of ISIS and had never been more than a sympathizer. Irish security officials also told the Irish Independent that they consider Smith to have been no more than a sympathizer.
While not naming her explicitly, Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, TD stated on The Week in Politics that he was aware an Irish citizen had been captured in Syria, saying that “every effort” was being made to return her to Ireland.
Speaking from the Al-Hawl refugee camp, Smith described the process of her conversion and her desire to be repatriated to Ireland. Once she arrived in Islamic State territory, she became the second wife of Sajid Aslam, a British jihadist. Aslam was still married to Lorna Moore, another Irish woman, who was in prison in the United Kingdom.
Smith says she chose marriage to Aslam as women were not allowed to live alone in Islamic State territory. While there, Smith gave birth to a daughter. Aslam later died in combat. In recent years, Smith has denied being a member of the ISIS, claiming she never owned a gun and never fought for the Islamic State. Smith has been reported saying she didn’t think she was guilty of any crimes.
She arrived back at Dublin Airport on 1 December, 2019. She was arrested upon arrival in order to be questioned by Irish police for commission of terrorist offences abroad. She was charged on December 4th, 2019 with foreign terrorist offences and being a member of the jihadist terrorist group known as Islamic State. Bail was refused.
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