282,665 Pages

Lisa Smith
Born c. 1981 (age 39–40)
Allegiance  Ireland
 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Service/branch Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army
Irish Air Corps insignia.svg Irish Air Corps
Years of service c. 2000–2011
Rank Private
Airman
Unit 27 Infantry Battalion

Lisa Smith (born c. 1981) is a former Irish soldier who converted to Islam and later travelled to Syria during the Syrian Civil War to join the terrorist militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Born in Dundalk, she was a member of the Irish Defence Forces until 2011, serving as a private in the Irish Army before transferring to the Irish Air Corps, where she served as a flight attendant on a government jet during the tenure of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Smith left the Defence Forces following her conversion to Islam, which was reported in 2011 by the Irish Independent in a now-deleted article.[1] In 2015, she left Ireland to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria following the breakdown of her marriage. In 2019, she was captured and detained by the US forces in Northern Syria.[2]

In a profile published on March 9, 2019, the Irish Independent reported that Smith had probably travelled to Syria a few months after their 2011 interview with her, but that she was definitely in Syria in 2015.[3] Reporters quoted relatives who asserted that she had never been a member of ISIS and had never been more than a sympathizer. Irish security officials also told the Irish Independent that they consider Smith to have been no more than a sympathizer.[4][5]

While not naming her explicitly, Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, TD stated on The Week in Politics that he was aware an Irish citizen had been captured in Syria, saying that "every effort" was being made to return her to Ireland.[6]

Speaking from the Al-Hawl refugee camp, Smith described the process of her conversion and her desire to be repatriated to Ireland.[7] Once she arrived in Daesh territory, she became the second wife of Sajid Aslam, a British jihadist. Aslam was still married to Lorna Moore, another Irish woman, who was in prison in the United Kingdom. Smith says she chose marriage to Aslam as women were not allowed to live alone in Daesh territory. While there, Smith gave birth to a daughter. Aslam later died in combat.[citation needed] In recent years, Smith has denied being a member of the ISIS, claiming she never owned a gun and never fought for Daesh. Smith has been reported saying she didn't think she was guilty of any crimes.

She arrived back at Dublin Airport on 1 December. She has been arrested.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Shamima Begum — a British-born woman who also went to Syria in 2015 to join the Islamic State and whose intent to return to the UK sparked a public debate about the repatriation of jihadists.
  • Brides of ISIL

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Lisa's story: Sometimes I'd like to be out clubbing -- but I wouldn't want to offend Allah". Irish Independent. 21 May 2011. https://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/lisas-story-sometimes-id-like-to-be-out-clubbing-but-i-wouldnt-want-to-offend-allah-26734813.html. Retrieved 10 March 2019. 
  2. Oliphant, Roland (9 March 2019). "Irish jihadi bride Lisa Smith evacuated from Baghuz named as ex-soldier who served on Taoiseach's private plane". https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/09/irish-jihadi-bride-lisa-smith-evacuated-baghuz-named-ex-soldier/. Retrieved 10 March 2019. 
  3. Gareth Morgan, Tom Brady (2019-03-09). "Who is Lisa Smith? From 'party girl' to Muslim housewife in Syrian camp". Irish Independent. https://www.independent.ie/ca/irish-news/who-is-lisa-smith-from-party-girl-to-muslim-housewife-in-syrian-camp-37894889.html. Retrieved 2019-04-08. "At the time she was hoping to find a "suitable husband", and was already talking about resigning when her contract expired. It is now known that within a matter of months, she had traveled to Syria. Certainly, by 2015 she is believed to have been in Syria and is understood to have married a man there." 
  4. Tom Brady (2019-03-10). "Desperate mother Lisa Smith frantically tried to get cash to escape Isil Syria". Irish Independent. https://www.independent.ie/ca/irish-news/desperate-mother-lisa-smith-frantically-tried-to-get-cash-to-escape-isil-syria-37896472.html. Retrieved 2019-04-08. "As an Isil bride, officers consider Ms Smith to be a sympathiser rather than a fighter with Isil and this is expected to be taken into account when she is questioned after her return to Ireland." 
  5. Maeve Sheehan (2019-03-10). "Isil bride Lisa Smith: From flying the world with Taoiseach to war and misery in Syria". Irish Independent. https://www.independent.ie/ca/irish-news/isil-bride-lisa-smith-from-flying-the-world-with-taoiseach-to-war-and-misery-in-syria-37896496.html. Retrieved 2019-04-08. 
  6. Murray, Sean (10 March 2019). "'I don't believe Irish citizens go there on their holidays': Flanagan says State will work to bring Lisa Smith back from Syria". TheJournal.ie. https://www.thejournal.ie/lisa-smith-flanagan-4533188-Mar2019/. Retrieved 10 March 2019. 
  7. Norma Costello (2019-04-08). "My struggles with depression brought me to Islam, says 'Isil bride' Smith". Irish Independent. https://www.independent.ie/ca/irish-news/my-struggles-with-depression-brought-me-to-islam-says-isil-bride-smith-37992111.html. Retrieved 2019-04-08. "She later married Aslam, she says, because she was not allowed to live alone as a woman. But she regrets her decision and wants to return to Ireland, particularly for the sake of her young daughter." 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.