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25 Sept 2022

Lisa Smith told a fellow Muslim "at least Abu Bakr did something", trial hears

 Lisa Smith told a fellow Muslim "at least Abu Bakr did something", trial hears

After terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's caliphate was denounced by religious scholars, Lisa Smith told a fellow Muslim: "At least Abu Bakr did something while the rest of us just sit and talk," the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The trial of the former soldier, who denies membership of Islamic State, has been listening to private Facebook messages Ms Smith exchanged with other Muslims before she travelled to Syria in 2015.

The discussions included issues on Islam, marriage and the role of women in Syria.

Detective Garda Fiona Morisson agreed with prosecution counsel Sean Gillane SC that Ms Smith discussed with one man the mass executions of Iraqi soldiers by Isis.

The man told Ms Smith that there was "nothing wrong with executing them" because they were the enemy.

Ms Smith also said she didn't like things she was seeing on Youtube and referenced a video in which she said Isis were killing people in the street.

The man replied that the victims "deserve it, they are Shia." 

He later told Ms Smith that Muslims are "commanded by Allah to strike fear" and said that if Shia are getting their heads cut off; "that is their due in this life and in the next life they get torment".

When Ms Smith said that the victims were not soldiers but civilians, the man replied: "Do they not participate in politics?"

The same man told Ms Smith that Syrians who previously hated Isis were now in love with Isis because they had "destroyed" the Assad regime and took control of an area from Aleppo to Iraq.

He said he couldn't understand why other Muslims didn't see what Isis had done.

Ms Smith replied, saying: "They are looking from the outside. I couldn't see either until you pointed it out."

On July 9, 2014, Ms Smith sent to the same man a link to an article with the heading, "Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi's caliphate".

The article stated that Muslim scholars had declared the caliphate to be illegitimate, condemned its "brutal", "deviant", "reckless" and "deceptive" methods and said it was forbidden to support it.

The man replied: "They claim to know how to guide us but what have they done for hundreds of years?"

Ms Smith asked if the scholars had "any say in this "given that Muslims had looked up to them for hundreds of years. She added: "I said to my husband, at least Abu Bakr did something while the rest of us just sit and talk."

The trial also heard message exchanges between Ms Smith and an American jihadist named John Georgelas and exchanges she had with her husband, a Tunisian man. 

Ms Smith (40), from Dundalk, Co Louth, an Islamic convert and former Irish soldier, travelled to Syria after terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on all Muslims to travel to the Islamic State.

She has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to membership of an unlawful terrorist group, Islamic State, between October 28th, 2015 and December 1st, 2019.

She has also pleaded not (NOT) guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.

Det Gda Morisson will continue going through the Facebook exchanges tomorrow (WED).

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