The Special Criminal Court has been told that Lisa Smith espoused a very "politicised" and "harsh" approach to Islam and wanted a husband who would be "a shaheed", a martyr.

Carol Karimah Duffy said she knew Ms Smith and her family from childhood and she moved in with her when she decided to convert.

Ms Duffy testified today that Ms Smith talked a lot about Jihad and suicide bombers, justifying why suicide bombs happened and viewed the situation as "us and them".

The 39-year-old former Defence Forces member has pleaded not guilty to membership of a terrorist organisation ISIS and financing terrorism.

Carol Karimah Duffy is from Dundalk and converted to Islam in the late 1990s, married twice and lived in Dublin and Co Louth.

She told the court she got a call from the Mosque in Dundalk because an Irish woman had asked to convert, and when she went over she was surprised it was Ms Smith because she knew her and her family from childhood.

She said she told her it was really hard, that she would have to give up family weddings, christenings and birthdays, and that it was very hard to explain to your family that you do not do this anymore.

She also said the clothing was a different matter because the abuse you get on the streets is "awful" but Ms Smith said to her "it would be fine".

She said she told Ms Smith to come to the "learning circles", classes in the Mosque, but "they didn’t go very well" and she went to three classes.

Ms Duffy also said that Lisa Smith ascribed to a "very politicised Islam, what should we wear, more of a harsh end of Islam." There was, she said, a lot of talk about al-Qaeda, Chechnya, Holy War, Jihad and suicide bombers, and justifying why suicide bombs happened.

She said Ms Smith felt it was a case of "us and them, we were being attacked and we were attacking back".

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She also testified that polygymy - being a second wife - was "a big thing" for Ms Smith and that she wanted a husband who would be "a shaheed" because that would be an honourable thing. There are, Ms Duffy said, some people who believe it is the most honourable thing to have a husband like that.

She also testified that Ms Smith was adamant she wanted to get married, and within a month of moving in with Ms Duffy she was pushing to get married.

She said she tried to discourage her, but she married a Muslim man from Drogheda who was a friend of her husband. They got a flat in Drogheda but the relationship lasted a couple of weeks. Ms Duffy said Ms Smith told her he wasn’t religious enough, as he had no beard.

"She came back to me. She wanted to meet someone. We ended up fighting over that," she said.

Ms Duffy said that Lisa Smith continued to discuss her understanding of Islam but was now talking to people online and it changed, and she became withdrawn. Ms Smith, she said, was "getting more argumentative about the things that we as Muslims do".

"At one stage she was getting offensive," she said, "the friendship started going, I couldn’t listen to it."

Ms Duffy said that Ms Smith was talking online to an American man who was married, but this was not done in Muslim communities.

"What’s a married man doing talking to a single woman online?" she said. "If a Muslim man is talking to a woman, we don’t have contact unless there’s marriage or some sort of relationship there."

Ms Smith subsequently moved out of Ms Duffy’s home into an apartment in Dundalk.

"I just stepped away," she said, "I stopped contact."

Carol Karimah Duffy gave an interview to Joe Duffy on RTÉ’s Liveline programme in March 2019, from which extracts are being played to the court.

The 39-year-old former Defence Forces member pleaded not guilty to two charges of membership of the terrorist organisation ISIS and financing terrorism between 2015 and 2019.

The trial continues.

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