An ex-Irish soldier was found guilty Monday, May 30, of belonging to a terrorist group. The Irish justice had estimated that she had joined the Islamic State jihadist group and pledged her allegiance when she went to Syria in 2015.
Lisa Smith, 40 years old, had left the army in 2011. She was, however, found not guilty of funding a terrorist organization with 800 euros she received for humanitarian purposes. She explained that the sum was intended to pay for medical treatment for a Syrian national in Turkey. When the announcement was made, she burst into tears.
Judge Tony Hunt of the Irish special Court ruled that the ex-soldier traveled to Syria in an area controlled knowingly by IS.
Lisa Smith had pleaded guilty in the unique case in Ireland. It relates to facts that date from the beginning of October 2015 through the end of 2019.
The prosecution tried to show how Lisa Smith, who was a military member from 2001 to 2011, traveled to an IS-controlled area in 2015.
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She made a pilgrimage in 2012 to Mecca, and she expressed her desire on Facebook to live under Sharia while becoming a martyr.
She is accused of joining IS and setting up in Raqa (Syria), which was then under the control of the jihadist group. She also faces accusations of having married a Briton who took part in the armed patrols of IS.
After the fall of IS's last stronghold, she returned to Dublin in 2019, and was arrested at Dublin Airport with her young daughter.
Michael O'Higgins, her lawyer, had claimed that the client's presence within an IS-controlled area did not make her a member.
He felt it was inaccurate to call anyone who traveled to an ISIS-controlled area a "foreign fighter", regardless what role they played.
According to the lawyer, Lisa Smith's husband was the only act that could be considered "a form of aid" to ISIS.
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Lisa Smith's writings on social media networks were a key part of the prosecution, especially after the 2015 Tunisia attack. "I cannot wait to learn the whole story. No more tourism hhh" which was interpreted by the court as "ha ha!" The Independent, an Irish daily, reports.
In July, the sentence that will fix his sentence is expected to be delivered. Lisa Smith was released on bail by that time.