Emirati to Be Tried for Murder of American Teacher

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, March 2, 2015

An Emirati woman has been referred to court on charges of murdering an American in an Abu Dhabi mall and attempting to kill another in his home, officials said Sunday.

Alaa Bader Abdullah is accused of stabbing a teacher, Ibolya Ryan, 47, to death in a shopping mall restroom and attempting to murder an American doctor of Egyptian origin by planting a bomb outside his apartment.

The attacks took place within hours of each other in the UAE capital on December 1.

The suspect was tracked down and arrested after CCTV footage was released of her going in and out of the restroom where the teacher's murder took place.

The 38-year-old faces charges of donating funds to al-Qaeda "with the aim of financing terrorist organizations in the UAE," Attorney General Salem Said Kubaish said, quoted by the official Emirate news agency WAM.

Abdullah also allegedly collected explosive materials and created an Internet account to promote the "ideas of a terrorist group."

Investigators found she had "listened to lectures by late al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, watched video clips of killings and beheadings," among other similar activities, Kubaish said.

She was said to have "embraced takfiri and jihadist ideology and then engaged in terrorist acts in support of the terrorist organizations al-Qaeda and Daesh," he said in reference to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

"The accused has confessed in detail to investigators to have committed these crimes," said Kubaish, adding that she was "provided with all legal guarantees."

Abdullah has been referred to the Federal Supreme Court to face the charges, he said without giving a date for the start of the trial.

The United Arab Emirates in September joined the US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It withdrew briefly following the capture of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh, who has since been killed, voicing concerns about the coalition’s ability to rescue fallen pilots. It however returned to taking part in airstrikes in February.

According to Abdul-Khaleq Abdullah, a professor of political science at Emirates University, the decision to resume flights from Jordan was meant to "send the right message to everybody that the UAE stands by its friends in times of need."

Last year, it issued a list of 83 militant groups which it classified as "terrorist organizations". The list included UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan enacted federal law number 7, which mandated the list to be published and circulated by the media to further “transparency” and “increase awareness” of terrorist threats.

Violent crime is relatively rare in the UAE although there have been attacks on foreigners elsewhere in the region.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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