Police in Abu Dhabi have arrested a woman who allegedly stabbed an American school teacher, before planting a bomb outside the home of an Egyptian-American, the United Arab Emirates interior minister said today.
Teacher and mother-of-twins Ibolya Ryan, 47, was stabbed to death a with a butcher’s knife at the Boutik Mall on the capital’s upscale Reem Island on Monday. Her veiled attacker is believed to have also placed a makeshift bomb at the house of an Egyptian-American doctor, 46, in the prominent waterfront Corniche area.
One of the doctor’s son’s discovered the bomb, which authorities have described as primitive, as he headed to the local mosque for sunset prayers.
Emirati authorities identified the 47-year-old victim by the initials I.R., and Footprints Recruiting, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company that found her a job, gave her name as Ibolya Ryan.
The killing has shocked the seven-state Gulf federation which is home to a large immigrant population, and where violent crime and terrorist attacks are rare.
Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said the incident was “alien to our secure country”, and said the attacker targeted her victims because of their nationality, in an attempt to terrorise and create chaos in the country.
“The victim of this brutal crime was a schoolteacher who was committed to building strong future generations,” he told reporters.
Police were able to dismantle the device comprised of a small gas cylinder, a lighter, glue and nails, before it detonated, Al Nahyan said.
David Duerden, a spokesman for the US Embassy, said officials are working with authorities to gather further information, and is in contact with the victim's family to provide consular assistance. It has not released the victim's name, citing privacy considerations.
Police earlier said the victim had 11-year-old twins and that they were being kept in protective custody until their father, who is the victim's ex-husband, arrived in the country.
The Emirates is one of the more prominent Arab members of the US-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. American and other Western allies rely on air bases in the country, and Emirati fighter pilots have carried out multiple missions as part of the bombing campaign.
Additional reporting by APReuse content