- Lisa Smith, 37, who joined ISIS five years ago, has denied fighting for the group
- Irish native added that she wants to see a 'caliphate' but not a 'brutal state'
- Leo Varadkar has said he would allow the mother, and her two-year-old back
A former Irish soldier, who joined ISIS after becoming radicalised in Syria, has denied fighting for the militant group but says she wants to see a caliphate.
Lisa Smith, 37, who moved to Syria after her divorce, also denied training young girls to fight for the terrorist group and says she's 'never killed anyone'.
Irish Prime Minster Leo Varadkar has previously said he would allow the mother, and her two-year-old daughter back to the country, but she must be ruled out a security risk first.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, from the refugee camp in Syria where she lives, Lisa said: 'I want myself an actual caliphate, as in a Muslim country. Not like a group, or a brutality group'.
She said that she was never asked to fight, and even if she had wanted to, she wouldn't have been allowed as she had her daughter.
The County Louth native added that she accepts that there was 'a lot of brutality within the Islamic State' but refused to answer when asked if she'd thought IS soldiers should face punishment because she 'doesn't know who's telling the truth and who's lying'.
She added she doesn't have any plans to hurt everyone and just wants to bring her daughter to Ireland so she can get an education.
In March, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it would be the 'right thing to do' to allow her to return to Ireland. She will need to be deemed 'not a risk to security' before returning.
She told the BBC that the FBI had been to visit her twice and have taken her finger prints and DNA.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Mail in April, Lisa said: ‘I want to go back to my country.’
‘I wasn’t a mother when I left. I came as a single person and I thought if I died here, I died, but when I had a child I became different, you know,’ she said.
‘You have to take your child and look after your child, you know. She’s my No.1 priority now; that’s why I want to leave and take her home with me and get her educated. People here are not educated.’
She strongly denied that she had fought with Isis, claiming she never even owned a gun despite her husband offering to buy her one for self-defence.
‘I think anyone that knows me, you know, in the Army or outside the Army or anywhere in my life, will know that they know me, that I wouldn’t pick up the weapon and fight and stuff like that,’ she said.
‘I didn’t do it. I didn’t own a rifle. I didn’t teach them anything.
‘There was actually women teach[ing] their husbands like how to have classes, you know, of how to use the gun, how to do this, how to do that.
‘I went to one class just to see how the woman was teaching, you know. Just to see what the woman was teaching, and she reminded me of what I used to know because I forgot everything, you know. But I didn’t fight...
‘My husband many times said to me, “You want me to buy you one?” I said no. He said “It’s just for self-defence”... I said: “I don’t want, I don’t want.”
‘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 neighbour. 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.’
Asked whether she would travel again to such a state, she insisted that she wouldn’t as it was her ‘biggest mistake’.
Friends described Lisa as 'a party girl who enjoyed a good time' before she went through a bad breakup, converted to Islam and became radicalised.
By 2013 she had converted to Islam in Dundalk where she apparently began attending the local mosque and bringing much younger relatives along for the worship.
Her Facebook page is also said to have undergone a transformation, from 'cute animal' photos to pictures of her wearing a veil and posts appearing to praise jihadists.
Speaking to Extra.ie, friend Carol Duffy said she had tried to keep Smith from turning to radicalism.
The Muslim community in Ireland had 'strongly rejected' her extremism, she said, adding that she would have reported her if she had known the extent of her radicalisation.
Another friend told The Sun: 'She was a party girl in the sense that she enjoyed going out, drinking and having a good time.
'She was really sound, a really nice girl and someone who was always there for her friends.
'She started suffering from depression after a bad break-up and she was introduced to Islam by a close associate. She really got into it and became really radicalised.'
Later she reportedly described Western culture as 'dirty' saying that her friends had been 'brainwashed' into standing by it.
Lisa is believed to have left Ireland in 2013 or 2014, apparently travelling to Bizerte in Tunisia where she met her husband.
By 2016 photos from Syria had appeared on her Facebook page and rumours that she had travelled there via Turkey had reached her friends in Dundalk.
But now Smith has lost her husband and is living in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria with her two-year-old daughter.
She fled the terror group's last holdout in Baghouz and is one of hundreds of women and children at the camp.
Speaking to CNN, she said not everyone at al-Hol was a 'terrorist' and said prison in Ireland would be no worse than her life in Syria - as the Irish government confirmed it was trying to bring her home.
She said: 'I think that people should just realise that all the people here are not terrorists. I want to go home.
'I know they'd strip me of my passport stuff, and I wouldn't travel and I'd be watched, but prisons? I don't know. I'm already in prison.'