Reem Island murder suspect in Abu Dhabi Police custody

Just over an hour after the fatal attack of the the American teacher, the suspect is then said to have planted a home-made bomb outside the home of an Egyptian-American doctor.

The video release that shows the suspect walking away from a doctor’s home after planting a nail bomb. Courtesy Security Media
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ABU DHABI // Police have arrested a woman suspected of killing an American teacher and also thwarted an attempt by the suspect to explode a nail bomb outside the home of an Egyptian-American doctor – both in less than 48 hours.

At a press conference given by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister, it was announced that an Emirati woman, in her late thirties, had been taken into custody.

Sheikh Saif said the suspect was identified in less than 24 hours and arrested in less than 48 hours.

The fatal stabbing of the 47-year-old kindergarten teacher, I B R, took place in the ladies toilets close to the Waitrose supermarket in Boutik Mall.

Just an hour after the killing, the suspected killer, wearing an abaya, black gloves and a niqab, is then said to have planted a home-made bomb made of small gas cylinders, a lighter, glue and nails outside the home of doctor, M H, 46, at a building on the Corniche.

The bomb was discovered by one of the doctor’s children who was on his way to a local mosque for Maghrib prayers. When the police arrived they evacuated the area and the bomb was defused.

Sheikh Saif said that the suspect targeted her victims based only on their nationality and had no personal ties with either of them. Her objective, he said, was to create confusion, undermine security and terrorise people, which was met with immediate response at the highest level of Government.

According to the head of CID, the doctor told them that a woman wearing an abaya, niqab and gloves went to their house a few days before the bomb was discovered.

This was possibly done to confirm who was living there. But she left quickly before he and his wife were able to identify her.

A security guard said he saw a person he thought was a woman enter the building wearing an abaya, niqab and gloves a few minutes before the bomb was planted.

She was pulling a black trolley bag as she went to the floor where the doctor lived and then hurriedly left shortly after.

Other bomb-making materials were recovered from the suspect’s home.

Col Humaid Al Afreet, head of the explosives and weapons department, said: “We dealt with it under high security measures after the building was evacuated. Similar components [or substances] were found later at the suspect’s house,” he said.

Col Khalid Al Shamsi, head of security support, said security forces co-operated in setting an arrest plan based on the information delivered to CID and other security forces.

Sheikh Saif presented CCTV footage of the suspected killer fleeing the scene of the killing, where she was seen concealing her car number plate with a UAE flag before driving away.

“Today, we are before a heinous crime the likes of which are unprecedented in our safe country,” Sheikh Saif said.

“It is a crime that goes against all human values and norms. It was a blatant attack on innocent people who had committed no wrongdoing, killing a teacher that worked with future generations and whom everyone recognised as a hard-working and devoted teacher and mother of three.”

Investigations are still ongoing as to her exact motives, to identify any possible accomplices and whether she has connections with foreign parties.

“Your brothers at the Interior Ministry and the security agencies worked non-stop, day and night, to find the suspect and determine her identity despite her attempts to conceal it,” Sheikh Saif said. “During the late hours of the night, following search and investigation efforts, a team of security officers went to arrest the suspect and ... she is now in police custody.”

He warned those who might have plans to disturb the security of the UAE or to compromise the safety of those living here that they would be met with severe punishment from the police and the community.