American Teacher Ibolya Ryan Fatally Stabbed in Abu Dhabi Mall
An American woman teaching in the United Arab Emirates was fatally stabbed in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall on Monday by an attacker clad in body-covering clothing.
UAE authorities are investigating the stabbing murder of 47-year-old Ibolya Ryan, who was found mortally wounded on a blood-splattered bathroom floor at the upscale Boutik Mall on Reem Island, NBC News reports.
Ryan, the mother of 11-year-old twin boys, taught kindergarten at the private Al Oula KG school and lived in a beachfront apartment on Reem Island, an exclusive area that is home to many expats. She was born in Hungary but trained as a teacher in the United States and lived in Denver, Colorado before moving to the UAE, according to the Telegraph.
“I wanted to experience the Arab world and experience their culture and daily life,” Ryan wrote in a profile for Footprints Recruiting, which helped her get her teaching job.
Abu Dhabi police released mall video surveillance footage showing the murder suspect, clad in a body-covering abaya and a face-covering niqāb, entering the mall shortly after 1:00 p.m. before exiting an elevator, interacting briefly with a security guard, grabbing a newspaper and heading into the restroom where the fatal attack occurred.
A witness who was also in the restroom told the National that she heard two women arguing in the disabled toilet.
“I heard one of them threatening the other saying ‘Sit down or I’ll kill you,'” the witness, Vietnamese mall employee Vithi Cuc, said.
Cuc said she then heard banging noises coming from the disabled stall.
“I heard one of them try to call out for help,” she said.”By this time there were three of us outside the toilet and one of us ran to get security. When the female security guard arrived they told us to leave the bathroom. I was so scared and frightened for her.”
The killer left a large kitchen knife in the restroom.
The suspect is seen in the surveillance video hurrying from the restroom and heading for an elevator as shoppers scramble. A woman appears to try to stop the suspect at the elevator doors, but the alleged attacker makes her escape from the mall.
“The injured woman was immediately rushed to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City where she succumbed to the wounds she sustained in the attack,” Abu Dhabi police said in a statement.
On October 29, the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi warned on its website of a “recent anonymous posting on a jihadist website that encouraged attacks against teachers at American and other international schools in the Middle East,” but also said it was “unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American.”
In the wake of Ryan’s murder, the embassy urged American citizens to avoid crowds and unknown places, and to “minimize your profile in public.”