Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar decided to allow ISIS suspect Lisa Smith will to return to Ireland from Syria with her two year old child because it was the “right or compassionate thing to do”.
However, PM Varadkar clarified that she will have to undergo full security assessment before she can go back home.
The Taoiseach defended his decision during a press conference by saying that living in Syria does not automatically mean one is an Islamic militant:
“Going to Syria or going to live in what was called Islamic State is not in itself an offence or a crime. So we will need to carry out an investigation.”
“I know the authorities there will want to interrogate her to see if she has been involved in any crimes there. But it’s very possible that wasn’t a combatant.”
“We still don’t have full information about this case. Each of these cases is going to have to be treated differently.”
The 37 year old former Irish soldier who converted to radical Islam is currently detained in Syria. Syrian authorities will carry out an interrogation to determine whether Smith will be prosecuted for her association with ISIS.
PM Varadkar informed reporters that the woman in question may be tried in Syria:
“There may need to be a prosecution there. And we’ll make sure that if she returns to Ireland, she isn’t a threat to anybody here either.”
“But ultimately this is an Irish citizen and we don’t believe that removing an Irish citizen’s citizenship from her or her family, rendering them stateless, would be either the right or compassionate thing to do.”
“As an Irish citizen, she will have the right to return to Ireland as will her child. But as an Irish citizen, it’s not just as simple as coming here and proceeding as if nothing had happened.”
The alleged Isis bride, Smith is a former soldier who was a member of the Air Corps.
She used to work on the Government plane used to fly former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and former president Mary McAleese. The native of Dundalk, Ireland is believed to have left for Syria in 2015.