Irish woman accused of ISIS membership released on bail

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Arrested on the tarmac at Dublin airport this month, Lisa Smith will be free to spend Christmas with her daughter

Dec 20, 2019

December 20, 2019


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An Irish woman accused of being a member of ISIS was released on bail on Thursday after successfully appealing a decision by a Dublin court.

Lisa Smith, from Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland, travelled to Syria in 2015 where she married British ISIS fighter Sajid Aslam, who later died in fighting.

The 38-year-old former Irish Defence Forces member escaped the Ain Issa camp in October and was deported from Turkey on December 1 along with her two-year-old daughter, who was born in Syria.

Questioned for three days on her return to Ireland, Ms Smith was charged with being a member of the extremist group.

Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecution said the state believed Ms Smith was a flight risk but the alleged ISIS member appealed the decision to deny her bail, pleading that she be freed to spend time with her daughter.

Justice Robert Eager granted bail, saying Ms Smith was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Ms Smith has been held at Limerick Prison since December 4 and is facing an eight-year sentence for membership of a terrorist organisation. Her daughter is being cared for by relatives.

While on bail, Ms Smith must comply with a series of strict conditions.

She has been banned from using the internet and social media, must report to a local police station twice a day, and has been forbidden from applying for new travel documents.

Any breach of the conditions would result in her being taken back into custody.

Ms Smith is due to be presented with the book of evidence when she appears in court again in January.

She denies all the allegations in a case which is the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.

Updated: December 20, 2019 04:14 AM

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