“There’s Absolutely No Evidence Lisa Has Been Involved In Any Terrorist Organisation”

at | 57 Replies

From top: Ms Smith alighting a plane in Dublin yesterday; Lisa Smith giving an interview to Irish journalist Norma Costello last July: Ms Smith’s lawyer Darragh Mackin

This morning.

As 38-year-old former Defence Forces member Lisa Smith continues to be interviewed by gardai today following her return to Ireland from Turkey yesterday and her subsequent arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences…

Ms Smith’s solicitor Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law in Belfast, spoke to Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier.

From their interview…

Audrey Carville: “You represent Lisa Smith. Are you satisfied so far how her arrest and her questioning has been handled by the gardai?”

Darragh Mackin: “It’s a very, very early stage in the investigation. However, at this stage, we are satisfied and Lisa has co-operated fully with the gardai like she co-operated with the Turkish authorities beforehand and the FBI before that.

“So we are satisfied that the investigation is progressing at a reasonable speed. We hope to bring matters to conclusion as quickly as possible.”

Carville: “Are you expecting a file to go to the DPP?”

Mackin: “At this stage, it is too early to tell. However, one thing is clear and has been clear from the various interviews that Lisa has given. Lisa has categorically denied involvement in any terrorist offence or terrorist organisation.

As many will be aware, or maybe unaware, for people to publicly remove or disassociate themselves from ISIS in itself, is unprecedented and unheard of, especially for someone who’s in a camp at that particular time.

“So we are of the view that the evidence of the State is inherently weak. And it does not point to terrorist offences and, as such, we believe that Lisa has a very, very strong case to make and is currently making that case.”

Carville: “But Islamic State is a terrorist organisation and she admitted to joining it, did she not?”

Mackin: “Unfortunately, it’s not as clear as that and as many people may not be aware, the process of radicalisation is inherently focused on religious beliefs.

“And unfortunately in this day and age, and has been the case for many year, that there are extremist organisations who target particular people, vulnerable people on religious beliefs, to try and move them to certain areas.

“By going to that area, that is not a terrorist offence. Going to a particular location is not a terrorist offence. You must be actively engaged in a terrorist organisation or a terrorist grouping.

Lisa has categorically denied being involved in any terrorist offence or a terrorist grouping. At this stage, there’s absolutely no evidence that she’s been involved in any terrorist organisation or terrorist grouping.

“And we must be clear: like the word Islamic State is not necessarily a direct link to ISIS. Of course there are all those connotations, however, the underlying and unfortunately deep political or religious background to the term Islamic State goes right back to people with particular beliefs as to what they believe to be a euphoria or a euphoric place.

“So the term Islamic State unfortunately and must be considered against that backdrop, it does not mean and it certainly, as is Lisa’s case and has been Lisa’s case from the first interview, that term does not mean that she was a member of ISIS.”

Carville: “Let’s hear her in her own words. Here she is talking to journalist Norma Costello who interviewed her for RTÉ News back in July. And during the course of that interview, she said very clearly, she had joined Islamic State but she also said very clearly that she did not fight for them.”

Plays clip from interview, in which Ms Smith said:

“I’m telling you myself. I didn’t fight.

“What did I do? I just joined the Islamic State and now I’ve become a monster? How? Like, you know? There’s many people… the British and the Irish fought for many, many, many years, you know? If someone from England moved to Ireland what would they say about them? You know? Or the opposite? From any country, you know what I mean like?

“How am I monster? I came here to Islamic State and I didn’t do anything.”

Carville: “‘I just joined Islamic State and now I’ve become a monster’. Those were the words of Lisa Smith back in July. Islamic State again a terror organisation, a prescribed organisation. So membership of it is illegal, surely?”

Mackin: “No unfortunately that isn’t strictly correct. This must be looked at against the actual…it is correct to say that the political connotations in this side of the world and particular what we understand Islamic State to be directly linked with Isis. That is correct.

“However, the words Islamic State go much deeper than that. There is much deeper. A particular religious belief and particular and though people of [inaudible] and particular persuasion of a study of Islam. People can believe that the Islamic State is a euphoric place in which they should strive to go to, right?

“And under certain teachings, as has been the case for Lisa, where you’ve become radicalised into believing that you are obliged to go to Islamic State. That is not in itself a terrorist perception. That is a very, very extreme view but it is not in itself a terrorist…”

Carville: “Does she no longer then pledge allegiance to the Caliphate and all that Islamic State aimed for in its ideologies?”

Mackin: “Well I think it’s clear from the interview that she gave, like I said, from the camp itself, that she does not pledge allegiance to the terrorist organisation Isis. Nowhere did she pledge her allegiance or become involved, that was her case publicly.

“And that public interview must be looked at in the context. That interview was given at a time when she was currently detained in a camp. In that camp it was well known, and has been well documented, that those women who spoke out, or in anyway disassociated themselves from the [inaudible] then of Isis, were subject to threats, to raping, to torture, etc.

“And the reality is that even that in itself is inherently unprecedented.”

Carville: “But there were also allegations Darragh Mackin, made by young women in Tunisia, that Lisa Smith helped to train them in the use of weapons. There were also suggestions, in general, that wives of Islamic State fighters, which Lisa Smith was, helped to procure other women for sexual assault and exploitation.

“Now did she engage in any of that?”

Mackin: “That’s hearsay in itself, because there has been not one witness statement, not one witness who has come forward and who has actually suggested that that took place, that that occurred. And therefore, until such times, and witnesses come forward, or witness statements are produced, it is merely that. They’re mere allegations of hearsay without any foundation or basis.

“And if you looked at the interview closely, when that is put to Lisa, her response is ‘bring those people to me and let them say it to me and I’ll say that never happened’. And those people aren’t produced. The position is that that is inherently unreliable.”

Carville: “We will leave it there for now. Thank you very much indeed. Darragh Mackin who represents Lisa Smith.”

Listen back in full here.

Yesterday: Here Comes The Bride

Pics: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews Irish News, RTÉ,


Anything good in The New York Times?

Only the long lens capture of Lisa Smith at Dublin Airport by Eamonn Farrell, of Rollingnews.

In fairness

57 thoughts on ““There’s Absolutely No Evidence Lisa Has Been Involved In Any Terrorist Organisation”

  1. some old queen

    That witnesses are afraid to come forward does not mean they do not exist- surely there must be similar cases to this elsewhere in Europe or US before now? If so, how did they pan out?

    1. newsjustin

      “…..when that is put to Lisa, her response is ‘bring those people to me and let them say it to me and I’ll say that never happened’.”

      “Bring those people to me”
      Lisa thinks she’s still a big-shot in that terrorist organisation who can request that her subjects be brought before her.

      1. :-Joe

        You’re taking it totally out of context, she didn’t know who or where those people were and she may not have been allowed to just walk around the camp trying to find them.

        Her point was to let her be in the same room as these supposed accusers. The whole thing could have been made up for all we know to make the story more interesting.

        The media bias/spin is also obvious…


  2. scottser

    Sounds like pants to me. But it’s up to the state to prove her guilt, I wonder if they’ll make a decent fist of it?

  3. Slightly Bemused

    Whatever about the case against her, I am interested that it is a Belfast based firm of solicitors who are representing her. The best reason I can come up with is that sadly they may have had more experience there in terrorist related law than ours in the Republic.

  4. garrett

    She has admitted being a member of Islamic State. The EU categorises Islamic State as a terrorist organisation.

    “What did I do? I just joined the Islamic State.

    1. Captain Pants

      Surely joining an organisation as openly brutal as Islamic State should be a crime in itself? Its not like she was a naive teenager who got taken in by people claiming to be bringing about a Socialist revolution of equality and fairness, but then turned out to be the Khmer Rouge. She joined an organisation whose advertised purpose is genocide, slavery and the killing of unbelievers, and she’s not repentant at all about having done so.

      I’d have serious reservations about letting such a person wander round the country freely.

  5. Shitferbrains

    Seems to be a plethora of ” human rights ” solicitors in Belfast. Crafty bit of placement as every case they take will appear to be of that ilk.

  6. Clampers Outside

    If you send money to ISIS you are seen as, and can be sentenced, for supporting the terrorist organisation.

    Yet, it would appear you can provide cooked meals and other domestic services to ISIS and its members and not be seen as supporting ISIS, even though you have said you joined and have supported ISIS.

    …is that so, well imagine that.

    if I go out today and act like a criminal, and commit crimes, but get up tomorrow and renounce my behaviour, will I be excused, and will it be said, I had committed no crime?

    Surely not.

    1. Cian

      Financing terrorist organisations is a specific offence.
      Feeding terrorists isn’t.

      If you have a common or garden criminal, say a burglar, who has a partner that feeds him and looks after the home. even if she is aware the Bob is a burglar, and that the money supporting the household is from crime, she is unlikely to be convicted of anything – Bob might get done for burglary – but she won’t.

        1. Cian

          yes, if she admitted to committing a crime.

          Any punishment should match the crime. If you join ISIS and feed people the punishment would be less than if you join ISIS and behead people.

          1. Clampers Outside

            Even if you vocally support those activities of the group you joined? Surely it should be a bit more severe, not as severe as the guy that pulled the trigger so to speak, but she helped steady his hand, in fairness.

          2. Cian

            Yes. But at the end of the day, unless there are specific terrorist crimes that there is evidence that she was involved with (e.g. training people how to use guns) then she is probably looking at a max jail term measured in months… and then she’ll argue that she spent the last 2 years (or whatever) in jail abroad and get off without a custodial sentence.

            If they want to convict her, the best approach might be to see how much money she brought with her – and do her on “Financing a terrorist organisation”.

        2. some old queen

          Her- How was your day dear?
          Him- Yeah grand- couple of beheadings and three shootings- quiet really.
          Her- That’s nice dear- dinner’s nearly ready.

          She married at least one active member ffs- if that is not facilitating ‘the cause’ then what is?

          1. italia'90

            Stephen Rea was married for 17 years to Dolours Price, a former Provisional Irish Republican Army bomber and hunger striker who also carried out Gerry Adams’ orders to disappear Jean McConnville.
            Dolours later became a critic of Sinn Féin and confessed all to Mackers in the Boston College Tapes.

            What’s your point caller?

          2. Clampers Outside

            If she confessed to murder she should be doing time.

            Did Stephen Rea come out, as Lisa did, and actively support her in these crimes, as Lisa did with IS?

            Please call back.

          3. Clampers Outside

            Remember too that the father of Lisa’s child, the jihadist Sajid Aslam was married before to Lorna Moore.

            Lorna was jailed for not informing UK authorities that she knew Sajid was going to join ISIS.

          4. Cian

            Hmm. Should all the wives/girlfriends/mother of the men that were interned up North have been interned too?

          5. some old queen

            @italia’90- Dolours Price was not a threat to Irish security, British security yes but not Irish.

            I just don’t buy this ‘I was only a wee wifey’ routine is all.

          6. italia'90

            Dolours was so brainwashed she would have blown up the 4 courts, leinster house and any other soft target had she been ordered to, such was her idealism in facilitating the casue.

            I woudn’t ask you to buy this ‘I was only a wee wifey’ routine either
            Convict her of the laws she’s broken, then move on.

            We’ve had “terrorists” from the ANC, Tamil Tigers, PLO, Lebanese Hezbollah and many more since the 70’s living, working, studying and even teaching here in Dublin such as Kader Asmal and Ziad Saab who both went on to become ministers in South Africa and Lebanon, respectively.

            Can you stop being such a drama llama for a few days?

            And ffs please don’t “buy” ur usual gin this weekend ;)

          7. some old queen

            Oh dear- someone left their manners at home today- always one I suppose. I have never got personal with you so please revert in kind.

            This story is headlines worldwide. The difference between all that you mention and these individuals is that they have a record of committing further atrocities once they return home- not all, but enough.

            I, like many others, do not believe this woman is safe to walk the streets. We may be wrong but an active member of Islamic State who so far has shown no sign of repentance leaves a lot of people very uneasy- that is not drama- THAT is common sense.

          8. italia'90

            My apologies some old queen
            I shouldn’t have made it personal, you’re right
            Those 3 baldy aunts of yours and my baldy aunt
            were in a nightmare I had the other night :)

            Here’s a video should you care to watch it of how much MSM have
            been telling lies about Syria in an effort to manufacture consent to
            bomb innocent civilians who happen to live in mineral rich lands,
            with surgical drone strikes which have 90% civilian casualty success rates

            Syrian Gas Attack Was Staged Says 2nd Whistleblower At OPCW

          9. italia'90

            @Lilly that’s why I put it in inverted comma’s
            He was a leading member of ANC and that was all the heavy squad needed
            to harass him
            I met him when I was very young and again when I was in my 20’s
            My father and uncles helped him find “safe” accommodation and would bring
            him to work with them in UCD and later when he got a post in TCD

    2. newsjustin

      I’m not sure she has “renounced her behaviour”, she’s just sticking to her story that she was there as a housewife and she didn’t really see a problem until the wheels came off the IS.

      I wonder, would she still be there if things were going ok economically and militarily for IS? She should be asked that.

  7. Dr.Fart

    she’s an absolute dope. whatever peoples thoughts on whether she should be allowed back or not, she isn’t mentality fit to care for and nurture a toddler. Take the little girl off her.

  8. :-Joe

    How do we know she wasn’t radicalised by Sinead O ‘Connor?…

    We need to question Sinead asap.. also were there any flying saucers spotted on the day that she was found?…

    You never know, that’s all I’m saying, better to be totally irrational but completely safe just in case.



  9. Gabby

    The important thing is to learn in what circumstances ‘radicalisation’ took place and whether the radicalising sources can be tracked down internationally. Then enquire as to how radicalisation psychology can be countered in Ireland.

    1. some old queen

      But what does ‘radicalisation’ actually mean?

      It infers some sort of brain washing which doesn’t really wash- another label. I see it about the right, about the red pill etc but that infers there are really clever people out there and the rest of us are just a bit thick.

      I have been accused of being radicalised on this site with my opinions on Islam for example- I don’t like people who don’t like me- there is nothing radical about that- it is just human nature. I don’t like the Christian evangelists up north either of course because they are two peas in a pod.

  10. Gabby

    ‘radicalisation’ in the extreme islamist jihad sense is a clever and ruthless process of diverting a person’s emotions and thoughts into a wish to serve a murderous cause either as an activist or a passive companion to an activist. Individuals of normal and high intelligence can have their rational faculties ‘turned’ by means of love-bombing, false praise, detachment from friends and family, lies, half truths and false certainties. Religious, political, lifestyle, psychological and other cults use similar means to ‘persuade’ targeted individuals to relax their normal cognitive instincts and emotional norms. Counter cult education is needed.

        1. some old queen

          Sorry Gabby that was a joke- the problem is that a lot of it seems to be on the internet which by nature is outside national boundaries. In that context I cannot see how someone could be so isolated but I suppose there are techniques.

          It is targeted at a certain type of individual of course but you have to wonder if there is not also a certain element of choice- particularly in a case like this where she ran off to join the circus.

  11. Gabby

    Free will even in intelligent people can be distorted by ruthless psychological means. One can be emotionally and intellectually lonely in a crowd. One can be convinced that freely dedicating oneself to a certain cause is a morally superior exercise of free will. As you say, there are techniques. Educators need to identify these techniques and the origins of the social media instigators. I imagine that those in charge of the defence and public security forces will redouble their efforts to inculcate psychological forewarning as a vital component in the training of personnel.


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