Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat—Abu Dhabi police announced on Thursday they had arrested the prime suspect in the killing of an American teacher in the emirate earlier this week.
The victim, named on Thursday as 37-year old mother of two Ibolya Ryan, was stabbed to death in a bathroom at Boutik Mall on Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island on Wednesday. Emirati authorities subsequently released video footage of the primary suspect, an individual wearing a full-length abaya and face veil.
UAE Deputy PM and Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced that Abu Dhabi police had arrested the suspect on Thursday, according to the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.
“The veiled suspect had tried to plant a primitive bomb in front of the house of a resident US doctor, but the police had dismantled it after one of the doctor’s sons discovered it,” WAM reported.
The Abu Dhabi police force launched a national investigation into the attack on the Romanian-born kindergarten teacher, who was rushed to hospital but died of her injuries.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s arrest, head of the Abu Dhabi police force’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Col. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, said the motive for the killing remained unknown and that investigations were ongoing to uncover the suspect’s identity and gender.
“Witnesses reported that the culprit was fully covered wearing an abaya, black gloves and face cover [niqab],” he said. The Arabic-language statement issued by WAM announcing Thursday’s arrest said the suspect in custody was female, but did not disclose her identity.
UAE media this week united in condemnation of the attack, with controversy particularly being raised over the attacker’s full-face veil, something that hampered the ability of the Emirati authorities to identify her. The UAE media strongly attacked the criminal’s use of the niqab, a symbol of Emirati society, to carry out crimes.
Sheikh Saif warned that “severe deterrent penalties” would be issued against anyone who sought to tamper with the country’s security.