Taoiseach: Lisa Smith could be investigated if she returns to Ireland

His comments follow those of Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has called for Ms Smith and her two-year-old daughter to be brought home to Ireland.

Taoiseach: Lisa Smith could be investigated if she returns to Ireland

By Dan Buckley, Juno McEnroe and Fiachra O'Cionnaith

Isis bride Lisa Smith could face criminal charges if she is repatriated home to Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated, saying that such an eventuality "would obviously have to follow an investigation. There is legislation regarding assisting terrorist groups".

His comments follow those of Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has called for Ms Smith and her two-year-old daughter to be brought home to Ireland.

The former Defence Forces member is in a refugee camp in Syria with her daughter and has expressed a wish to return home.

Speaking after a BBC interview with Lisa Smith, the Minister said the State needed to give her consular assistance. “She is a young woman with a very small baby and I think she should be brought back home. There are concerns from some people that she may pose a security risk, but surely we can do a security assessment and deal with that.”

In March Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a "security assessment" will be carried out to make sure Ms Smith is "not a threat to life and limb here in Ireland" if she returns home.

In the interview with the BBC's Anna Foster, 38-year-old Ms Smith - who joined Isis in 2015 and went to Syria three years ago - denied ever picking up a gun on behalf of the terror group and said she was not allowed fight for Isis. “Even if I wanted to fight, tried to fight, they would not let me,” she said.

She said she would not plan attacks in Ireland nor had any intention to hurt anyone in Ireland.

"I'm just interested in trying to bring up my daughter and have her educated. I don't think I'm even radicalised. All I know is that I just come to an Islamic State and it failed.

"At the beginning, I did't come to kill anyone. And when I was there I didn't kill anyone and when I go home I'm not going to kill anyone."

The former Irish soldier, who also served as an Air Corps steward on the Government jet, said her time in the Defence Forces left her depressed, lost in drink and drugs and searching for answers.

She sad she wants "a caliphate as in a Muslim country", but not a "brutality group". She accepted there was a lot of brutality in the Isis but could not say if the perpetrators should be punished.

“I can't answer because I don't know and I don't know who's lying and who's telling the truth. I actually have to hear the truth on both sides and then make a decision,” she said.

When she entered the caliphate she was 33 years old and divorced her Tunisian husband because he refused to join the Islamic State alongside her.

Ms Smith added that she could not explain why it had been alleged that she trained girls as young as nine to fight for Isis.

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