Jihad inspired UAE woman to murder American in mall
A United Arab Emirates court sentenced an Emirati woman to death yesterday after convicting her of the jihadist-inspired murder of an American teacher, according to the Abu Dhabi newspaper 'The National'.
Alaa Bader al-Hashemi (30) was found guilty of stabbing to death teacher Ibolya Ryan (47) in a shopping mall toilet, as well as "creating a handmade bomb" she placed in front of an Egyptian-American doctor's home, the paper said.
The attacks took place within hours of each other in the UAE capital on December 1.
Hashemi was arrested less than 48 hours later.
Hashemi "was also found guilty of sending money to al-Qa'ida in Yemen, knowing the funds would be used in terrorist acts," 'The National' said.
The ruling was made by the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, which means it cannot be appealed.
Hashemi, surrounded by four police officers, "showed no emotion as the verdict and sentence were announced," the daily said.
International media have been denied access to her trial, which began on March 23.
Hashemi had asked the court to provide her with psychological help, saying she had "unreal visions" and would see "ghostlike people" due to a chronic mental illness.
The court ordered psychiatric tests which it said showed she was aware of her actions.
Ms Ryan worked at the Al Oula KG School and lived in a beachside apartment on Reem Island, an exclusive area full of mostly expats.
She is believed to have separated from husband Paul (48), who has travelled from Europe to be with his sons.
Mrs Ryan had posted on an online profile of her experiences in Abu Dhabi.
She described herself as a Hungarian who was born and raised in Romania but then trained as a teacher in the USA.
"I wanted to experience the Arab world and experience their culture and daily life," she wrote on a teacher-recruiting site.
"I am working in a very traditional neighborhood and it is very unique to learn and understand their culture.
"'Also I have high interest in other languages; one of my goals while here in the UAE is to gain some proficiency in Arabic."