Husband of Reem Island killer sentenced to life in prison for terror charges

Father of 6 guilty of plotting to blow up Yas Marina Circuit and Ikea, supporting ISIL and planning an assassination.

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ABU DHABI // The husband of the woman executed for killing an American teacher on Reem Island has been sentenced to life in prison for a string of terror offences, which included plotting to blow up Yas Marina Circuit and Ikea.

Mohammed Al Hashemi, 34, was also found guilty by the Federal Supreme Court on Monday of planning an assassination and making bombs.

Al Hashemi posted photos of UAE leaders with slanderous remarks and shared his plans to harm them online.

In March this year, the court heard he learnt to make home-made bombs and explosive devices using Clorox, aluminium, gunpowder from fireworks and gas canisters.

Al Hashemi denied the accusations, telling the Federal Supreme Court it was his wife, Alaa Al Hashemi, who used their computer to read terrorist websites.

The self-proclaimed "emir of ISIL" was also found guilty of promoting Al Qaeda and ISIL online. He posted pictures of ISIL's flag and lectures from the extremist group's leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

The court heard in March that Al Hashemi was so devoted to join ISIL that he and his wife went on YouTube and pledged allegiance to the terrorist organisation.

“The defendant and his wife planned terrorist attacks in the country in retaliation for the UAE’s stance against ISIL,” said prosecutors.

They said a forensics examination of Al Hashemi’s computer and external hard drive found evidence and documents that proved he used online tutorials to learn to make bombs.

Prosecution also showed statements indicating Al Hashemi had also sent about Dh80,000 to Al Qaeda.

A witness from state security told the judge that Al Hashemi had been known to authorities for his radical views since 2003.

He was arrested on November 21, 2014, a month before his wife killed nursery teacher Ibolya Ryan, 47, in a toilet at Boutik Mall on Reem Island.

The December 1 murder of the mother of three shocked the country and cast a pall over celebrations for National Day.

Al Hashemi’s wife told prosecutors she committed the crimes to avenge her husband who had been taken into custody by State Security.

She said she wanted to create fear, especially for American, British and French expatriates.

She was sentenced to death for the murder in June last year and was executed by firing squad the following month.

Al Hashemi and his wife had six children, none of whom he has seen since his arrest.