UAE executes woman convicted of US teacher’s murder

July 13, 2015 9:35 am
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A fully veiled woman (R), the suspect in the killing of an American teacher in a shopping mall toilet, is shown walking through the mall in the Emirati capital in this CCTV image released by Abu Dhabi police on December 3, 2014/AFP
A fully veiled woman (R), the suspect in the killing of an American teacher in a shopping mall toilet, is shown walking through the mall in the Emirati capital in this CCTV image released by Abu Dhabi police on December 3, 2014/AFP
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jul 13 – The UAE on Monday executed an Emirati woman convicted of the jihadist-inspired murder of a US school teacher in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall, state media reported.

Alaa Bader al-Hashemi, 30, was executed at dawn after President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan approved the death sentence issued last month, the official WAM news agency said.

It cited prosecutors at the state security court but did not say how the execution was carried out.

Hashemi had been sentenced to death after being found guilty of stabbing to death Ibolya Ryan, 47, a mother of three, in a toilet of the shopping complex on December 1, 2014.

She was also convicted of placing a handmade pipe bomb outside an Egyptian-American doctor’s home in the UAE capital on the same day, although the device failed to explode.

Hashemi was found to have used an Internet account to spread information that was likely to “jeopardise” the United Arab Emirates, according to the verdict.

She also was found guilty of having sent funds to Al-Qaeda in Yemen, knowing that this money would be used for “terrorist acts”.

The ruling was made by the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, which cannot be appealed but require the formal approval of the head of state in the UAE, where executions are rare.

Hashemi had been dubbed the “Reem Island Ghost” after the location of the mall where the stabbing of Ryan took place.

Tracked down using CCTV footage of her going into and out of the restroom where the murder occurred and near the doctor’s building, Hashemi was arrested 48 hours later.

She was dressed in black from head-to-toe as she carried out both attacks.

Hashemi was arrested at her home where her car was found with blood on the steering wheel and bomb making materials inside.

During her trial, Hashemi had asked the court to provide her with psychological help, saying she had “unreal visions” and would see “ghost-like people” due to a chronic mental illness.

The court ordered psychiatric tests which it said showed she was aware of her actions.

In March, Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said investigators found she had “listened to lectures by late Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, watched video clips of killings and beheadings,” among other similar activities.

She “embraced takfiri and jihadist ideology and then engaged in terrorist acts in support of the terrorist organisations Al-Qaeda and Daesh,” he said using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

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