Lisa Smith traveled to Turkey to study with academic who wrote ISIS propaganda, court heard
Lisa Smith, a former member of the Defense Forces who denies being a member of the Islamic State, traveled to Turkey to become a student of a famous Islamist convert who wrote ISIS propaganda, learned the Special Criminal Court.
Michael O’Higgins SC, in defense of Ms Smith, read a 2013 exchange of messages between Ms Smith and an American Islamic scholar named John Georgelas who was living in Egypt at the time.
Mr O’Higgins said Mr Georgelas asked Ms Smith to travel to Egypt to study with him and said he would pay her to help his wife, Tania Joya, look after their children.
Ms Smith replied: “I wouldn’t dream of accepting money to look after your children.
“If I can benefit from your knowledge as a student, that would be more than enough for me.”
Tania Joya, who was married to Georgelas and was living with him when Mrs Smith arrived in Turkey, told Mr O’Higgins that her husband was smart and manipulative and that in 2013 he communicated with Mrs Smith every day on Internet.
She said he was a respected scholar who could “overwhelm” people with his knowledge of the scriptures.
She told Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, that Georgelas wrote for Dabiq and Rumiyah magazines which publish Isis propaganda.
Ms Smith (39) from Dundalk, Co Louth pleaded not guilty to membership in an illegal terrorist group, the Islamic State, between October 28, 2015 and December 1, 2019.
She also pleaded not guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in aid, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6, 2015.
His trial continues before Judge Tony Hunt, Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Cormac Dunne in the three-judge court without a jury.
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