LISA Smith told a woman she met in Syria that she wanted to live by Sharia law and was ready to “die a martyr,” the Special Criminal Court heard yesterday.
At the opening of Smith’s trial, DPP’s Sean Gillane SC said the former Self-Defense Force member “covered himself in the black flag of Isis” had traveled to Syria to “answer a call” from terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Gillane said Al-Baghdadi is the leader of Isis, an illegal terrorist organization that has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and in 2014 declared a caliphate with al-Baghdadi as its leader. field of this organization.
Mr. Gillane said the terrorist group could not exist without those who chose to “do hijrah” by going to Syria and Iraq.
He said Isis needed warriors and others who could provide “nourishment and vitality” to the group to achieve its goals and that Ms Smith had “resolved, evaluated and responded to the call to move”. reside”.
When answering the call, Mr Gillane said she had “identified herself as a member” of Isis.
Mr. Gillane said the court will also hear that Ms. Smith divorced her husband and while in Syria married another man who had been on patrol along the Iraqi border and took a sniper course under the law. her advice.
Ms. Smith, 39, from Dundalk, Co Louth, pleaded not guilty to being a member of an illegal terrorist group, the Islamic State, between October 28, 2015 and December 1, 2019.
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She also pleaded not guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in support, via Western Union money transfer, to a named man on 6 May 2015.
Mr. Gillane gave a detailed history of how the Islamic State was formed and gained strongholds in parts of Iraq and Syria before announcing its creation with al-Baghdadi as country or leader. its in 2014.
Mr. Gillane said that Al-Baghdadi’s organization, which considers itself a follower of Sunni Islam, beheads, burns alive or bury those who are considered apostates or members of other sects such as Shia or Yazidi. .
The lawyer said Isis became “notorious” in 2014 when videos emerged of the execution of journalists and aid workers in the caliphate.
Ms Smith was a member of the Irish Defense Force from 2001 to 2011.
Mr Gillane said she had applied for discharge because of the conflict between her faith and her professional role in the military.
In particular, she was denied permission to wear a headscarf.
‘JOY TO BE IN SYRIA’
Mr. Gillane said at the time, Mrs. Smith had converted to Islam and in 2012 she moved to Mecca.
She began communicating via Facebook in 2012 with an American convert to Islam who moved to Egypt in 2011.
They discussed what was happening in Iraq and Syria, the lawyer said, and Ms Smith discussed her “desire to be hijrah”, which Mr Gillane said was a term that in this context has means emigrating to a territory controlled by the Islamic State.
Ms. Smith later became the administrator of an Islamic Facebook page called “We Listen, We Obey” in which Muslim women discuss various issues.
Mr. Gillane said the court will hear that Ms. Smith expressed a desire to live according to Sharia Law and to die a martyr. In 2013, she moved to Turkey and then to Syria, where she stayed for a number of weeks.
One witness, Mr Gillane said, would say Ms Smith expressed “joy to be in Syria” and wanted to start her “jihad” and was prepared to die.
In June 2015, Mr Gillane said a video had been shared with Ms Smith and others using a phone messaging app called Telegram. The video shows several men in the cage being drowned.
Mrs. Smith, he said, sent a text message: “I understand why they drowned. I didn’t know the other half of the story.”
DURATION OF SMITH
He said the court will also hear that around this time Ms. Smith had complained that her husband would not pledge allegiance to Isis even though she had asked him to do so.
In May 2015, Mr. Gillane said Ms. Smith had sent €800 to a Syrian man living in Turkey. The money, he said, was for the benefit of another man who was injured and needed the money to help him rehabilitate.
In October 2015, lawyers said, Ms. Smith had purchased a one-way ticket, paid in cash, from Dublin to Turkey. She then crossed the border into an area controlled by Isis in Syria and lied to her family about where she was going.
She went to Raqqa, the capital of the caliphate, where she lived. At this point, Mr Gillane said Ms Smith “begged her husband” to join her and rejected his offer to let her leave Syria.
In 2016, she divorced her husband and in June of that year married a UK citizen who had traveled to Syria in 2014. Mr. Gillane said the man had been involved in border control in Iraq, and according to his words. Smith’s advice, he took a sniper course.
Ms. Smith remained in Raqqa until February 2017 when she moved to an area near the Iraqi border. In June 2017, her daughter was born. More than a year later, Raqqa fell to allied forces and Ms. Smith moved to Baghouz, the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic State until its fall in March 2019.
After the fall of Baghouz, Ms. Smith spoke to the FBI about her time in Syria and gave an interview to a journalist. Mr Gillane said she had returned to Ireland, where she was arrested and interviewed 11 times. She denies being a member of a terrorist organization and denies doing anything to benefit the terrorist organization.
‘NAIVE AND EASILY TAKEN IN’
Lawyers said the court would be required to consider conversations Ms Smith had, her state of mind and her statements, when assessing membership fees.
He said membership can be inferred from behavior that includes an act of loyalty or a pledge of allegiance, both of which, he said, are present in this case.
He said Ms Smith “resolved, assessed and responded to calls to migrate to territory controlled by Isis and al-Baghdadi”.
Counsel said that “every inch” of territory controlled by Isis was obtained through terrorist violence and a “support state” created by an illegal organization.
He added: “Making hijrah in this context is an act of allegiance to this supporting state, an act in which a terrorist government cannot survive.”
The first witness called by the prosecution, Una McCartney, said she was friends with Ms. Smith for many years while they both lived in Dundalk.
She told Michael O’Higgins SC, in her defense, that Ms Smith was “naive and easily manipulated” and was “looking for a sense of belonging” she may have found through Islam.
The trial continues today before Mr. Judge Tony Hunt presides with Judges Gerard Griffin and Judge Cormac Dunne in the three-judge, no-jury court.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8263226/court-lisa-smith-prepared-die-martyr-isis-trial/ Lisa Smith told woman she met in Syria she was ready to ‘die a martyr’, court says