Building a case against Isis returnees is not straightforward

Building a case against Isis returnees is not straightforward

Any prosecution of terrorist offences against Dundalk woman Lisa Smith may hinge on whether “theatre of war” evidence is admissible in court, how that evidence was gathered and who collected it.

Ms Smith is being questioned for another 24 hours by detectives in Dublin following her arrest on a flight from Turkey on Sunday.

Building a case against the former Air Corps crew member to charge her with the lesser offence of membership of an unlawful organisation is likely to be the preferred route pursued by the State.

This type of case – should the Director of Public Prosecutions proceed with it – might not be straightforward.

Ms Smith’s solicitor, Belfast-based Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, has already pitched a defence that seeks to undermine any accusation that she was a member of the terrorist organisation known as Isis.

He claims that in 2015 she travelled to the “caliphate” that Isis created out of large swathes of Iraq and Syria it controlled out of a sense of calling as a devout Muslim to a “euphoric land”.

She has denied any involvement in any terrorist activity.

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