Tom Conachy

Lisa Smith expresses desire to live in a 'caliphate...but not a brutality group' as she seeks to return to Ireland

The Dundalk native made the comments in a new interview with BBC.

FORMER ISIS BRIDE Lisa Smith says that she wants to live in a caliphate but not as part of “a brutality group” as she seeks to return to Ireland.

In an interview with BBC, Smith also said that she did not know whether those who were killed and tortured by the terror group deserved to suffer, saying she was still looking for answers.

However, she told the broadcaster the she accepted that the group carried out barbaric acts, but could not say if those responsible should be punished for their actions.

“I can’t answer that because I don’t know,” she said.

“And I don’t know who’s telling the truth and who’s lying… I have to see the sides of the two stories.

“I actually have to hear the truth on both sides and then I can make a decision, you know?”

A Dundalk native, Smith previously worked in the Irish Defence Forces but left service in 2011 after converting to Islam. It is believed she departed for Syria in 2015 after her first marriage broke down. While there, she married a British IS fighter.

She is currently being held at the Al Hawl refugee camp on the Syrian border with Iraq, following the collapse of the group’s self-declared caliphate last year.

In her interview with BBC, Smith said it was her desire to live in a caliphate again, but also expressed hope of returning to Ireland with her two year-old daughter.

“I want for myself an actual caliphate,” she said. “Like as in a Muslim country. Not like a group, or a brutality group.”

She also denied training girls to fight for ISIS, claiming that people said that because she had a military background, before adding that she was not even allowed to fight for the group.

“I’m not like a terrorist, I’m not out to kill anyone…” she said.

“If you ask me am I going to hurt anyone? No. Have I any intentions to do anything? No. I’m just interested in trying to bring my daughter up and get her educated.”

However, gardaí are continuing to investigate whether Smith ever fought for the group and assessing the security threat she would present if she was to return to Ireland.

Sources have previously told that Smith claimed to have left her military past behind, and that she can’t remember tests of elementary training, something Defence Forces investigators believe is unlikely.

Responding to the interview this morning, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty said that Smith deserved consular assistance as much as any Irish citizen, but added that she appreciated the difficulty of the situation.

“I think she’s an Irish citizen with a small baby,” Doherty said.

“I think she should be brought back to the country… I know there are concerns from some people that she may pose a security risk, but surely we can do a security assessment and deal with that.”

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