Former Irish soldier Lisa Smith has been found guilty of being a member of the unlawful terrorist group, the so-called Islamic State.

She was acquitted of a charge of financing terrorism by sending money to a man in May 2015 for the benefit of IS.

Smith, an Islamic convert, travelled to Syria after terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Muslims to travel to the Islamic State.

The 40-year-old pleaded not guilty to being a member of the group between 28 October 2015 and 1 December 2019.

The prosecution alleged that she answered the call from al-Baghdadi and became the "life blood" of Isis as a propaganda tool and as a woman who would help to build the Islamic State.

Prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane said she had enveloped herself in the black flag of IS.

He said the court could not ignore that Smith travelled thousands of kilometres, knowing about the activities of the terrorist organisation that was "up to its neck in blood".

He said there was no benign Islamic State she could have been attempting to join, there was only the terrorist organisation.

Her lawyers had described the case against her as unique and unprecedented and said there was no evidence that she was a member of the group.

Defence Counsel Michael O'Higgins said the prosecution had not shown that Ms Smith wanted to become a member of IS and was accepted by the organisation.

It was not enough to say she had travelled to the Islamic State and had been "subsumed" into the organisation.

He said it was unknown in Irish law for a person to be convicted of an offence without being aware they were committing an offence.

He said she went to Syria to be a dutiful wife and to create a home.

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In the court's verdict, Mr Justice Hunt said the court had decided that the issue of religion, or religious belief or religious compulsion was irrelevant.

He said it was no defence for a person to say they committed a crime because of a religious belief, even if sincerely held.

He said the belief that adherence to Islam compelled travel to the Islamic State caliphate was confined to supporters of al-Baghdadi and was very far from being accepted by Muslims generally, who were repelled by the violent and intolerant nature of the group.

Mr Justice Hunt said the primary and most significant aspect of the circumstantial evidence against Smith was her travel to Syria in October 2015.

He said context was everything and the court took into account prior matters and subsequent events.

The judge said Smith did not make her decisions as a result of being under pressure from anyone else.

He said before she travelled to Syria she conducted extensive relevant research and inquiries and knew what awaited her at her destination.

He said she had viewed propaganda videos showing extreme and terrifying acts of violence.

She was particularly well informed about the organisation that ruled where she decide to live.

She knew she was not just subscribing to life under sharia law – but to a regime that had specific techniques to enforce that law.

He said there was no room for pleas of naivety or ignorance by the time she travelled to Syria. Her eyes were wide open, he said.

Smith had also denied sending €800 via a Western Union money transfer to a man in May 2015, knowing or intending it would be used for the benefit of IS.

Giving the court’s verdict on that charge, Mr Justice said the court could not exclude a reasonable possibility that Smith was motivated primarily by charitable or humanitarian considerations when she sent the money and that this intention was in play.

There was sufficient ambiguity to provide reasonable doubt, the judge said, and the court was not satisfied the prosecution had proved the necessary intention and was directing a not guilty verdict in relation to that charge.

Smith was a member of the Irish Defence forces from 2001 to 2011.

She applied for discharge, the court heard, because of inconsistencies between her faith and her role in the army.

In particular, she had been refused an application to be allowed to wear a hijab.

In October 2015, she bought a one-way ticket, travelled from Dublin to Turkey, and crossed the border into an IS-controlled area of Syria.

The judge said the purpose of Smith's travel to Syria was to consummate her burgeoning relationship with the Islamic State.

Smith was crying as the guilty verdict was announced.

She was granted bail in advance of a sentencing hearing on 11 July.