ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — An Emirati woman arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a U.S. teacher in a bathroom at a United Arab Emirates mall is also accused of placing a handmade bomb in front of an American doctor’s house, the country’s interior minister said Thursday.
More details about the arrest weren’t immediately available.
According to a diplomatic source, the woman arrested was of Yemeni origin and had traveled back and forth to Yemen “multiple times.”
The woman was arrested less than 24 hours after the attack. She is still being interrogated by Emirati authorities and the investigation into the incident is ongoing, the source said.
The alleged attacker was fully covered, donning an abaya — a black, full-length gown traditionally worn by Emirati women — black gloves, a face cover and a hijab, or head scarf, police said. She fled the mall after the attack.
Police believe Ryan, who was married with 11-year-old twins, did not know the attacker, Al Nahyan said.
Later Monday, the suspect placed a primitive bomb in front of a house where an American Muslim doctor lives, said Al Nahyan, adding that authorities had video of the event.
The doctor’s son saw the object and called police, Al Nahyan said. Police defused the device.
Investigators believe that the attacker wanted to create chaos and spread fear, Al Nahyan said. He didn’t discuss possible motives beyond that.
Al Nahyan didn’t say what led police to identify and arrest the suspect.
Surveillance video released by police shows the moments before and after the mall stabbing. A veiled figure that police identified as the attacker walks calmly in through a parking lot entrance, speaking to security guards, picking up a paper and disappearing around the corner out of sight.
The video later shows the suspect running to an elevator and then leaving the mall through the same parking lot doors.
The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a statement, back in October, warning U.S. citizens of an anonymous Internet post that encouraged attacks against teachers at American and other international schools.
The embassy was unaware of any specific, credible threat at that time, but called on citizens to be vigilant about their personal security.
Reem Island is a newly developed area of Abu Dhabi where many Western expatriates live.