UAE police arrest suspect in stabbing death of American teacher

The United Arab Emirates' interior minister said Thursday that police have arrested a female suspect in the killing of an American schoolteacher in an upscale Abu Dhabi mall.

After carrying out the murder at the Boutik Mall on the capital's Reem Island, the attacker also left a makeshift bomb at the house of a 46-year-old Egyptian-American doctor in the prominent waterfront Corniche area, authorities revealed.

One of the doctor's sons discovered the device as he headed out for sunset prayers at a local mosque, and police were able to dismantle it before it could cause any damage, Interior Minister Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

The bomb, which authorities described as primitive, included small gas cylinders, a lighter, glue and nails.

Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also deputy prime minister, said the attacker targeted her victims based on their nationality alone in an attempt to create chaos and terrorize the country. He called the stabbing a crime that is "alien to our secure country."

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    "The victim of this brutal crime was a schoolteacher who was committed to building strong future generations," he told reporters.

    Police said the teacher was stabbed to death Monday by an attacker wearing the full black veil commonly worn by women throughout the Gulf Arab region.

    The identity of the attacker has not yet been revealed, but the teacher who was killed was identified Wednesday by the recruiting firm who placed her.

    Ben Glickman, CEO of Canadian-based Footprints Recruiting, confirmed to that the victim was Ibolya Ryan, 47, the mother of 11-year-old twin boys.

    Ryan was Hungarian, born in Romania, and later became an American citizen. She trained in the U.S. as a teacher before being assigned to the United Arab Emirates in September 2013, Glickman said.

    The boys’ father, from whom Ryan was divorced, flew to the UAE to collect the boys, Glickman said.

    The stabbing comes on the heels of a security warning from the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi in late October, advising Americans of a “recent anonymous posting on a Jihadist website that encouraged attacks against teachers at American and other international schools in the Middle East.

    “The Mission is unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American or other school or individual in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” the warning reads. “Nonetheless, the Mission is working with local schools identified with the United States to review their security posture.”

    On Wednesday, the embassy said it a statement that it is “working with all the appropriate authorities to seek further information” about the killing and advised Americans to keep a low profile while traveling in public.

    In video footage released Wednesday by police, the suspect is seen calmly walking into the Boutik Mall.

    The suspect picks up a paper and disappears down a hallway. An hour and a half later, the suspect reappears and races toward an elevator. A woman tries to stop the suspect before she enters, but retreats. The suspect then quickly walks out the doors of the mall.

    Col. Rashid Borshid, head of the Criminal Investigation Department, told The Associated Press that a fight broke out between the victim and the attacker in the women's restroom just before the stabbing.

    The UAE is a Western-allied, seven-state federation that includes the glitzy commercial hub of Dubai and the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi. It is home to a sizable Western population where foreigners outnumber Emirati citizens.

    The country prides itself on being a safe haven in the turbulent Middle East. The UAE is part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.