A woman who lived with Lisa Smith in Syria has told the Special Criminal Court that the former Defence Forces member married a member of al-Qaeda and was "determined to die a martyr".

Tanya Joya, who is from the UK, said she had been radicalised when she was teenager and married a US convert, John Georgelas who also subsequently communicated with Lisa Smith online.

They met Ms Smith in Turkey and crossed the border into Syria.

She said Ms Smith was excited about being there because it was a place she always planned to go.

Ms Joya said it was not unusual that Ms Smith was planning to die there and be a martyr, adding "a lot of Muslims were saying that".

She said no one spoke to her or Ms Smith because they were women and inferiors, but Ms Smith had "a good attitude" and was "very optimistic" whereas she herself was the exact opposite.

When they first arrived they were taken to stay at a villa that was used by a lot of people who had entered the country.

Ms Joya’s husband John Georgelas said the place was dirty, there was no running water or electricity, the windows were smashed and there were bullet holes in the walls.

There was a curfew and it was difficult to get food but the militia were very helpful, she said, and brought drinking water and groceries.

Ms Joya complained about the dirt and the conditions but said that Lisa Smith was happy and decided she wanted to marry a man she had met on first arriving in Syria.

Ms Joya described the man whose name was Ahmed as "good looking", "charming" and "hot" and said Ms Smith was also attracted to him because he was a fighter.

She said that she became concerned for Ms Smith because the Arab men living there were "drooling over her because of her white skin" and advised her to get married, for her own safety.

In Islam when you get married you become submissive, "a good wife" she said, and Ms Smith was "a good Muslim".

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

The trial continues.