Former Irish soldier convicted of being Islamic State member


A former Irish soldier has been found guilty of being a member of so-called Islamic State.

Lisa Smith, from Dundalk in Co Louth, was convicted by a judge at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Smith wiped away tears from her eyes as the verdict was read out by Mr Justice Tony Hunt.

The 40-year-old was found not guilty of a second charge of attempting to finance the terrorist organisation.

The judge told the court it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that Smith’s intentions when she sent €800 to a so-called Islamic State member were not charitable or humanitarian.

Smith left the Irish military after she converted to Islam in 2011 and later travelled to IS-controlled territory in Syria.


There, after a previous marriage ended, she married Sajid Aslam, a Briton whom the court was told “had done a snipers course on her advice”.

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Smith had a daughter, born in June 2017, before she returned to Ireland in December 2019 after the collapse of Islamic State.

She was arrested at Dublin Airport and charged with terror offences.

The court was told that Smith had “endeavoured to access IS-controlled territory and sought out the means by which this could be done”.

Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, said Smith “subscribed to the reciprocity of allegiance and protection, and in that sense, she enveloped herself in the standard or black flag of Islamic State”.

It was the prosecution’s case that to “make hijra” (emigrate) in this specific context is “a central act of allegiance to this proto-state” and an “act without which the terrorist group cannot survive”.

“It is the lifeblood of the Islamic State,” Mr Gillane said.

Smith will be sentenced on 11 July.


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