Co Louth native Lisa Smith hopes to return to Ireland with her 2-year-old daughter from Syrian refugee camp
Lisa Smith, the so-called Irish ISIS bride, said that her struggles with depression and suicidal ideation led her to Islam.
A native of Dundalk in Co Louth, Smith is currently in the Al Hawl refugee camp in Syria with her 2-year-old child, but is hoping to make her way back home to Ireland.
Speaking with Norma Costello for the Irish Independent, Smith reflected on her discovery of Islam: "I was looking for answers, some people go through life and they're looking for answers, they're reading books, why are we here? They're asking questions.”
"I was very depressed in life. I didn't want to live anymore. I was one of these people that was like suicidal, you know, because there's no answers.”
"I don't know what's going on. So if you don't get answers, you're probably going to end up killing yourself.”
"You're reading Christian books, reading spiritual books, going to spiritual healers, going to fortune tellers.”
"You're just trying to grab on to everything to keep yourself sane. So then I came across Islam and that was it.”
Initially, the Irish woman did not trust Muslims: "I didn't trust Muslims and I didn't trust Islam because of the stories.”
"But as I learned I just knew it was all lies about Muslims being terrorists. It's not what I represent.”
Smith claims to have been radicalized by an American jihadist throughout chats on Facebook. She also insists that she was never involved in combat, and never even owned a gun.
A former member of the Irish Defence Forces, Smith is believed to have left Ireland in either 2013 or 2014 to join her British husband Sajid Aslam in Tunisia before going to Syria.
Aslam had previously been married to Lorna Moore, a native of Co Tyrone, who was jailed in the UK after authorities discovered her attempts to reach her jihadist husband with their children, according to The Irish Independent.
Smith said that her husband has died within the past three months. Now, the Irish woman is hopeful she can return to Ireland for the sake of her daughter, who she wants to see get an education.
"For me, I want to go back to my country," Smith said.
"[My daughter's] my number one priority now, that's why I want to leave and take her home with me and get her educated."
“My biggest mistake is not having patience and seeing with my eyes what was going to happen.”
Asked if she should face investigation in Ireland, Smith said: "I don't think I should be tried.”
"If they want to put an investigation on me, I have nothing to hide.”
"The only thing I did was come here and, if that's my crime like a lot of other people's, for coming here and realizing I made a mistake."
She added: "I don’t want to cause problems for anyone, I don’t want to mix, I’m still me, I’m still like a good neighbor, I’m still a good friend, I’m just still me."
"I’m not, like, out to kill anyone, I don’t believe in suicide attacks."
You can watch journalist Norma Costello's interview with Lisa Smith here: