The former Irish soldier who married ISIS Fighter is arrested

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Ms. Smith joined the Irish Defense Forces when she was a young infantry recruit and was transferred five years later to the air force, where she worked for another five years as a flight attendant on the official government plane, helping government ministers , including Bertie Ahern, then prime minister.

He converted to Islam in 2011 while still serving in the Irish Defense Forces. He resigned that year, shortly after giving a newspaper interview about his decision to convert, saying he had become disillusioned with a lifestyle of drinks, drugs and parties.

It is believed that he traveled to Syria around 2015, despite being on a police watch list as a potential radical Islamist. He married a British jihadist and conceived his daughter. It is believed that the father was killed in the fighting in Syria. Her daughter is now in the care of Mrs. Smith's relatives in her hometown, Dundalk.

After traveling to Syria, he reappeared this year with his little daughter in a Kurd-controlled displacement camp for wives and children of Islamic State fighters. Interviewed there by a BBC journalist, she said she wanted to return to Ireland and denied having used her weapons training on behalf of ISIS or having been involved in acts of violence or terrorism.

“If you ask me, will I hurt someone? No, ”she said. “Do I have any intention of doing something? No. I'm only interested in trying to raise my daughter and educate her. I don't even think it's radicalized. All I know is that I just arrived in an Islamic State and failed. "

Under Irish law, citizens may, in principle, be prosecuted for terrorist offenses committed abroad, but strong evidence that links the defendant with specific crimes should be presented. In the BBC interview, he denied a report that he had trained girls to become ISIS fighters, saying he never took a gun while in Syria.

"Even if I wanted to fight, I tried to fight, they didn't let me," he said.

Irish police said in a statement that Ms. Smith had been arrested under a general provision that is generally used to hold and question people suspected of internal subversion or terrorist activity.