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terror accused Lisa Smith travelled to Turkey study with scholar who wrote ISIS propaganda, court told

Ms Smith (39) from Dundalk, Co Louth has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful terrorist group, Islamic State

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Former member of the Defence Forces Lisa Smith arriving at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin where she is facing terror-related charges (Niall Carson/PA)

Former member of the Defence Forces Lisa Smith arriving at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin where she is facing terror-related charges (Niall Carson/PA)

Former member of the Defence Forces Lisa Smith arriving at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin where she is facing terror-related charges (Niall Carson/PA)

Lisa Smith, a former Defence Forces member who denies membership of Islamic State, travelled to Turkey to become a student of a famous Islamic convert who wrote Isis propaganda, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Michael O'Higgins SC, for Ms Smith's defence, read out a message exchange in 2013 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 under him and said he would pay her to help his wife, Tania Joya, take care of their children.

Ms Smith replied: "I wouldn't dream of accepting any money for looking after your children.

"If I can get the benefit of your knowledge as your student that would be more than enough payment for me."

Tania Joya, who was married to Georgelas and living with him when Ms Smith arrived in Turkey, told Mr O'Higgins that her husband was clever and manipulative and in 2013 was communicating with Ms Smith every day over the internet.

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Lisa Smith, accused of terrorism offences, arrives at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (PA)

Lisa Smith, accused of terrorism offences, arrives at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (PA)

Lisa Smith, accused of terrorism offences, arrives at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (PA)

She said he was a respected scholar who could "overwhelm" people with his knowledge of scripture.

She told Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, that Georgelas wrote for magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah that publish Isis propaganda.

Ms Smith (39) from Dundalk, Co Louth has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful terrorist group, Islamic State, between October 28th, 2015 and December 1st, 2019.

She has also pleaded not guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.

Her trial is continuing in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Cormac Dunne at the three-judge, non-jury court.

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