Lisa Smith re­fus­ing to an­swer some ques­tions

Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ali Bracken Crime Correspond­ent [email protected]­dai­ly­

DE­TEC­TIVES prob­ing Lisa Smith’s al­leged in­volve­ment with Isis have been left frus­trated by her re­fusal to an­swer cer­tain ques­tions.

The Dun­dalk na­tive has been quizzed by gar­daí in Dublin since ar­riv­ing back in the coun­try on Sun­day.

Smith has been granted five prayer breaks a day and is be­ing pro­vided with ha­lal food, in line with her de­vo­tion to the Mus­lim faith.

LISA SMITH is re­fus­ing to an­swer some ques­tions about her al­leged in­volve­ment with Isis while in Garda cus­tody, but is be­ing granted breaks from ques­tion­ing to pray five times a day in ac­cor­dance with her Mus­lim be­liefs, the Ir­ish Daily Mail can re­veal.

Her di­etary re­quire­ments, specif­i­cally her re­li­gious stip­u­la­tion to only eat ha­lal food, are also be­ing ad­hered to while gar­daí in the cap­i­tal con­tinue to in­ter­ro­gate her.

Ms Smith was also per­mit­ted to en­joy a meal with her child, par­ents and other fam­ily mem­bers at Kevin Street Garda Sta­tion in Dublin on Sun­day, the Mail has learned.

One source said last night that while the 38-year-old is ‘talk­ing some­what freely’, she is not an­swer­ing all ques­tions be­ing put to her by de­tec­tives.

It is un­der­stood that the former sol­dier’s al­leged re­la­tion­ships with ‘a num­ber of men who are mem­bers of Isis’ are be­ing put to her dur­ing sus­tained Garda ques­tion­ing.

Should she be re­leased without charge, the na­tive of Dun­dalk in Co. Louth will be given se­cu­rity ad­vice for ‘her own safety’ given the ‘mas­sive pub­lic in­ter­est’ in the so-called Isis bride.

Counter-ter­ror­ism gar­daí are also in the fi­nal stages of their se­cu­rity as­sess­ment report on the mother-of-one, which will de­ter­mine if she poses a threat to the se­cu­rity of this coun­try.

Five other peo­ple who have re­turned to Ire­land from con­flict zones have pre­vi­ously been subject to sim­i­lar State se­cu­rity as­sess­ments.

Ms Smith, who ar­rived back in Ire­land on Sun­day fol­low­ing her de­por­ta­tion from Tur­key, is the subject of a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sus­pected com­mis­sion of ter­ror­ist of­fences abroad.

She trav­elled to Syria in 2015 af­ter con­vert­ing to Is­lam sev­eral years be­fore.

She had her pe­riod of de­ten­tion ex­tended yes­ter­day morn­ing by a chief su­per­in­ten­dent at around 10.30am, and she can be ques­tioned by the au­thor­i­ties for up to three days in to­tal.

By around 10.30am tomorrow, of­fi­cers must ei­ther re­lease her from cus­tody or charge her.

In or­der to con­tinue to ques­tion her today, de­tec­tives must go be­fore a District Court judge and seek a fur­ther 24-hour ex­ten­sion.

The former sol­dier’s two-yearold daugh­ter, who ar­rived back in

Ire­land with her, is be­ing cared for by rel­a­tives in Dun­dalk.

A se­nior source said that Ms Smith has been ‘an­swer­ing some ques­tions’ that counter-ter­ror­ism gar­daí have put to her about her links to Isis – ‘but not all’.

A se­nior source ex­plained: ‘She is be­ing fully fa­cil­i­tated in terms of her re­li­gious be­liefs and di­etary re­quire­ments since she’s been in Garda cus­tody. This in­cludes prayer and di­etary stip­u­la­tions for those of the Mus­lim faith.

‘She is an­swer­ing some ques­tions gar­daí have, but not all, about her in­volve­ment with Isis. She re­mains in rel­a­tively good form.’

Ms Smith’s solic­i­tor, Belfast­based Dar­ragh Mackin, said yes­ter­day that he is of the view that the ev­i­dence is very weak and his client has a strong case to make.

Speak­ing on RTÉ’s Morn­ing Ire­land, he said his client had cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied be­ing in­volved in ter­ror­ist of­fences and that it was ‘un­prece­dented’ for some­one to pub­licly dis­as­so­ci­ate them­selves from Isis, as the 38-year-old did while she was in a camp in Syria.

Mr Mackin said: ‘We are of the view that the ev­i­dence of the State is in­her­ently weak and does not point to ter­ror­ist of­fences.

‘As such, we be­lieve Lisa has a very, very strong case to make and is cur­rently mak­ing that case.’

He said ‘not one wit­ness has come for­ward’ to back up al­le­ga­tions that Ms Smith en­gaged in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.

In pre­vi­ously tele­vised in­ter­views, Ms Smith de­nied car­ry­ing weapons for Isis mil­i­tants and train­ing young girls in how to use weaponry.

In re­cent months, the crime and se­cu­rity branch of ter­ror in­tel­li­gence gar­daí have been eval­u­at­ing any threat she could pose to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Gar­daí have been pro­vided with all in­tel­li­gence on the former sol­dier from the Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties – who de­tained her in Syria – about her al­leged ac­tiv­i­ties and in­volve­ment with Isis.

Gar­daí have been gath­er­ing all avail­able ev­i­dence with a view to prose­cut­ing her un­der the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice (Ter­ror­ist Of­fences) (Amend­ment) Act 2015.

A former friend of the 38-yearold has de­scribed her as ‘cocky and ar­ro­gant’ and ac­cused her of us­ing her Ir­ish pass­port to get out of trou­ble in the Mid­dle East.

Karimah Duffy, a Mus­lim con­vert and Ms Smith’s former best friend, told the Mail she was ‘an­gry’ that her ex-friend had been al­lowed back into the coun­try from Syria.

She also said Ms Smith has shown no re­morse for her ac­tions and is un­de­serv­ing of pub­lic sym­pa­thy. ‘I’ve seen her in in­ter­views, she’s so cocky and ar­ro­gant – she doesn’t care about any­body but her­self,’ Ms Duffy said. ‘That’s the real Lisa and I know the real Lisa.

‘I’m an­gry about the whole thing to be hon­est. Sure, we have to take her home be­cause she’s an Ir­ish cit­i­zen.

‘But peo­ple seem to be for­get­ting that she’s not taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for her ac­tions.’

Can be ques­tioned for up to three days

Gath­er­ing all avail­able ev­i­dence

Re­turn: Ms Smith ar­rives at Dublin Air­port with her child on Sun­day In­ves­ti­ga­tion: Lisa Smith is be­ing ques­tioned by gar­daí in Dublin

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