17:46 GMT21 June 2021
Listen Live
    UK
    Get short URL
    by
    8316
    Subscribe

    Lisa Smith, 39, had been charged with membership of an unlawful organisation and arrested at Dublin Airport in 2019 on suspicion of terrorist offences after previously travelling to Syria to allegedly marry a British jihadi soldier. She had also been issued an exclusion order.

    A former Daesh* bride and Irish citizen has won an appeal to a ban on her entering the UK on the grounds of national security, reported the Irish Times.

    Ex-Air Corps Lisa Smith, from County Louth, had been the subject of a Home Office-issued exclusion order on the grounds of national security since December 2019.

    Smith, who is to go on trial in Dublin next year on charges of being a member of an unlawful terrorist group and financing terrorism, had appealed against the decision to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London. She pleaded close family connections to the North of Ireland, with SIAC finally ruling in her favour.

    In a written judgement today, the SIAC said the decision to exclude Smith was 'discriminatory'.

    The original ruling had been based on regulations providing for the exclusion of a national of an European Economic Area (EEA) state who is not also a British citizen.

    However, the SIAC stated that while Irish citizens can be excluded, this cannot apply to those with dual nationality. A Home Office spokesperson was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying:

    “We are disappointed with this judgement and are considering our options for appeal.”

    Ex-Air Corps Turned Daesh bride

    Once described as a “party girl” by friends, Liza Smith reportedly started attending a mosque in Dundalk, County Louth, in Ireland and converted to Islam amid depression following the breakdown of her marriage in 2013. The former member of the Irish Defence Forces fled to Syria to ostensibly become a second bride to British jihadist Sajid Aslam and had a child with him.

    Following the alleged death of her husband in Syria, Smith appealed to the authorities for a safe return to Ireland.

    "I think people should just realise that all the people here are not terrorists. I want to go home," she was cited as saying at the time by CNN.

    The woman returned to Ireland in 2019 after being housed for a while in the al-Hol refugee camp — the same place where the former British citizen Shamima Begum had stayed.

    Begum, a denaturalised British born woman who left the UK at age 15 to join Daesh, had sparked a broad debate in 2019 after voicing a desire to return to the UK. In February 2019, the UK government issued an order revoking her British citizenship.

    In this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London.
    © AFP 2021 / LAURA LEAN
    In this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London.

    Lisa Smith, 39, who as flight attendant in the Air Corps used to serve high-profile officials, such as then Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern in his government jet, was arrested at Dublin Airport on suspicion of terrorist offences after returning from Turkey in November 2019 with her young daughter.

    She was charged with membership of a terror group and funding terrorism in 2020 under 2005 legislation – a charge she denied. The woman claims she went to Syria to learn the teachings of the Quran.

    After being served with a notice by the Home Secretary to exclude her from the UK on the grounds of national security, Smith appealed to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London.

    The woman, whose father is originally from Belfast, argued that she had close family connections to the North of Ireland and often travelled across the border.

    She has, thus, won the court case fighting her exclusion from the UK.

    The decision sparked a swift response on social media, as many recalled similar cases of “Daesh brides” seeking to return to the UK. Netizens deplored the ruling as potentially opening the way for others to appeal their cases and follow suit.

    Related:

    Exclusive: UK Supreme Court Ruling on Shamima Begum Erodes 'Right to a Fair Appeal', Lawyer Says
    Shamima Begum Allegedly Seen at Refugee Camp ‘Bank’ Suspected of Handling Cash From Supporters
    Ex-‘Daesh Propaganda Tool’ Copies Shamima Begum, Opts for Westernized Makeover to Plead Her Case
    Ex Irish Air Corps Flight Attendant Turned 'Daesh Bride' Pleads for Return
    Irish Daesh Bride Wishes To Return Home: 'I Want To See A Caliphate, Not A Brutality Group'
    Tags:
    Shamima Begum, Syria, Syria, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Daesh
    Community standardsDiscussion