Europe

Lisa Smith: Irish police given more time to quiz IS recruit

Lisa Smith was interviewed by the BBC in July
Image caption Lisa Smith was interviewed by the BBC in July

Irish police are to question Irish Islamic State bride Lisa Smith for a further 24 hours after her arrest was extended on Monday morning.

The former member of the Irish Defence Forces is being questioned by gardaí at Kevin Street station in Dublin.

The 38-year-old arrived in Dublin on Sunday morning with her two-year-old daughter, after being deported from Turkey.

She was arrested for suspected terrorist offences.

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 several years ago.

Miss Smith can be questioned for up to three days in total by Irish authorities.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported that she was offered the opportunity to rest overnight.

Gardaí (Irish police) said her child, who was born in Syria but is an Irish citizen, is being cared for by relatives.

The legislation which allows gardaí to prosecute someone for terrorist offences abroad remains untested.

It will be for the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to decide if Miss Smith is to be charged or released.

Gardaí are also carrying out a security assessment on Miss Smith, as they have done in the case of five other people who have returned from conflict zones, so that they can be satisfied the Dundalk woman does not pose a threat.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Lisa Smith was brought to a police station after her arrest, covering herself with a pink blanket

In a statement, Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said: "This is a sensitive case and I want to reassure people that all relevant state agencies are closely involved."

Miss Smith's solicitor, Darragh Mackin, has said it is too early to tell if a file will be sent to the DPP.

His view is that the evidence is very weak and Ms Smith has a very strong case to make.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland today, Mr Mackin said his client has categorically denied being involved in terrorist offences and that "not one witness has come forward" to back up allegations that Miss Smith was engaged in terrorist activities and until such time that someone does, the allegations are hearsay.

The BBC interviewed her in Syria earlier this year.

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Media captionLisa Smith had denied training girls after becoming an IS bride

She said was not involved in fighting and did not train girls to become fighters.

Miss Smith also claimed she had been visited more than once by the FBI for questioning, and agents had taken her fingerprints and DNA.

She had been living with her daughter in a Syrian refugee camp.

The taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar had previously said she would "certainly" be investigated if she returned to Ireland.

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