US teacher stabbed to death in Abu Dhabi identified

An American school teacher stabbed to death in a mall restroom in Abu Dhabi by a suspect wearing a full black veil 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.

Meanwhile, authorities in Abu Dhabi released video footage in the hunt for the suspect, who wore a full black veil and authorities said used a sharp tool that has been confiscated by police.

The stabbing comes on the heels of a security warning posted by 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.”

In the video, the suspect, wearing a traditional black robe, full-face veil and gloves commonly worn by local women throughout the Arab Gulf region, is seen calmly walking into the mall in Abu Dhabi’s upscale Reem Island.

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 the attacker remains at large. He said police are investigating possible motives and the gender of the attacker.

He said a fight broke out between the victim and the attacker in the women's restroom just before the stabbing.

"The Abu Dhabi Police will spare no effort in order to unveil this heinous crime and bring the culprit to justice," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

The U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates said they are aware of the incident that took place Dec. 1 and are in contact with Emirati authorities. The embassy said it stands ready to offer all possible consular services.

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.