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Lisa Smith will only answer ‘some questions’ on Isis… and gets 5 prayer breaks a day

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 03/12/2019 Ali Bracken
a person wearing a hat © Provided by Extra.ie

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, Extra.ie can reveal.

Her dietary requirements, specifically her religious stipulation to only eat halal food, are also being adhered to while gardai 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, Extra.ie has learned.

a person wearing a purple hat: Lisa Smith is refusing to answer some questions about her alleged involvement with Isis while in Garda custody. © Provided by Extra.ie Lisa Smith is refusing to answer some questions about her alleged involvement with Isis while in Garda custody.

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.

Lisa Smith leaves the aircraft in Dublin Airport with a pink blanket over her head after returning to Ireland. Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Extra.ie Lisa Smith leaves the aircraft in Dublin Airport with a pink blanket over her head after returning to Ireland. Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Counter-terrorism gardai 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.

a man standing next to a body of water: Ms Smith is being granted breaks from questioning to pray five times a day in accordance with her Muslim beliefs. © Provided by Extra.ie Ms Smith is being granted breaks from questioning to pray five times a day in accordance with her Muslim beliefs.

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.

a close up of a person wearing a hat: Lisa Smith travelled to Syria in 2015 after converting to Islam several years before . Pic: Tom Conachy © Provided by Extra.ie Lisa Smith travelled to Syria in 2015 after converting to Islam several years before . Pic: Tom Conachy

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-year-old 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 gardai 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.

a large passenger jet flying through the air: The arrival of the plane carrying Lisa Smith to Dublin Airport. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Extra.ie The arrival of the plane carrying Lisa Smith to Dublin Airport. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

‘She is answering some questions gardai 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.

a woman smiling for the camera: 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. © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland 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.

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 gardai have been evaluating any threat she could pose to national security.

Gardai 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.

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

a man wearing a military uniform: 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. © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland 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.

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 Extra.ie 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.’

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