Europe

Lisa Smith: Varadkar says IS recruit 'would be investigated'

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Media captionLisa Smith denies training girls after becoming an IS bride

Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith would "certainly" be investigated if she returns to Ireland, the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) has said.

Ms Smith travelled to become an Islamic State group bride, and is currently living with her two-year-old daughter in a Syrian refugee camp.

On Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said she had requested consular assistance.

Speaking to the BBC, she said she had not been involved in violence during her time in Syria.

"If she returns to Ireland, there will need to be an investigation into her activities certainly," Mr Varadkar told Irish state broadcaster RTÉ.

'Threat to others'

"The safety and interests of Irish citizens and people living in Ireland are the paramount concern in all of this."

He said on her possible return Ms Smith would be interviewed and an assessment would be carried out, to "make sure she is not a security threat to others".

"But we must never forget that there is a child involved here too and that child is innocent and that child is an Irish citizen," Mr Varadkar added.

Image copyright Tom Conachy
Image caption Lisa Smith is from Dundalk in County Louth

Speaking to the BBC in the refugee camp where she is currently living in Syria, Ms Smith said she had not taken part in any of the fighting herself.

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

"I had my daughter at that time you know."

Ms Smith also refuted claims she had trained girls aged between nine and 12 to fight.

"At the beginning I didn't come to kill anyone," she said.

"And when I was there I didn't kill anyone and when I go home I'm not going to kill anyone. I just think I am the same, you know."

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