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Solicitor representing Lisa Smith says she was not a member of terrorist organisation

Solicitor representing Lisa Smith says she was not a member of terrorist organisation
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The solicitor representing Dundalk woman Lisa Smith says she was not a member of a terrorist organisation.

Darragh Mackin of Belfast-based Phoenix Law told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the 38-year-old, who was detained by Gardaí following her return to Ireland yesterday, “has a strong case to make” and that being a member of Islamic State was not necessarily a direct link to the terror organisation Isis.

“There are extreme organisations that target vulnerable people on the basis of their religious beliefs to lure them to certain areas.

“Going to a particular location is not a terrorist offence.”

He said that Ms Smith has “categorically denied being involved in a terrorist organisation.”

While Islamic State and Isis are regarded by security analysts as interchangeable, Mr Mackin drew a distinction between the two, saying “the words Islamic State are not necessarily a direct link to Isis”.

People can believe that Islamic State is a “euphoric place” and can feel obliged to travel there, he said. In Ms Smith’s case, being a member of Islamic State did not mean she was a member of Isis.

The process of her interview by gardaí was at an early stage, said Mr Mackin and he believed Ms Smith had a strong case to make. He was satisfied that she had cooperated fully with the authorities in Ireland and in Turkey.

Mr Mackin added that Lisa did not pledge allegiance to Isis and said she was not involved in violence.

Any claims that Ms Smith had been involved in training or violence were hearsay, he said.

“Not one witness has come forward to say that occurred.”