Lisa Smith chose to go to area controlled by 'demonic' terrorist organisation - barrister

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Lisa Smith Chose To Go To Area Controlled By 'Demonic' Terrorist Organisation - Barrister Lisa Smith Chose To Go To Area Controlled By 'Demonic' Terrorist Organisation - Barrister
Lisa Smith (40), from Dundalk, Co Louth, an Islamic convert, travelled to Syria in 2015 after al-Baghdadi called on all Muslims to travel to the Islamic State he had created. Photo: Collins Courts
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Eoin Reynolds

Lisa Smith, a former soldier who denies membership of Isis, chose to travel to an area controlled by the "demonic" terrorist organisation having rejected peace and integration to embrace what is militant and violent, a barrister has told her trial.

Sean Gillane SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, has delivered his closing speech in the trial, telling the three-judge, non-jury court that Ms Smith did not embark on a "lawful and wholesome journey" to answer a religious calling but, having addressed and analysed the call by Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, she migrated to Isis controlled territory where she engaged in a reciprocal relationship with the Islamic State and then moved with Isis as it lost territory following the fall of Raqqa in 2016.

Counsel said Ms Smith is not being prosecuted for believing in Islam or in a caliphate or caliph, but for joining a terrorist group.

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Michael O'Higgins SC, for Ms Smith, beginning his speech, told the court that Ms Smith did not travel to Syria to take part in combat. She was vulnerable, brittle, suicidal and depressed, he said, and as a recent convert to Islam she could not have known whether the caliphate announced by al-Baghdadi was legitimate.

He said tens of thousands of Muslims answered the call by al-Baghdadi and if the prosecution is correct, all of them were subjected to "mass hypnotism" that turned them into zombies and robots who "descended on the area and immediately set about becoming members of a terrorist organisation".

Mr O'Higgins is continuing his closing speech this afternoon.

Ms Smith (40), from Dundalk, Co Louth, an Islamic convert, travelled to Syria in 2015 after al-Baghdadi called on all Muslims to travel to the Islamic State he had created. She has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful terrorist group, Islamic State, between October 28th, 2015 and December 1st, 2019. She has also pleaded not guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.

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