— Domani Spero
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]
On October 29, the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates issued a security message concerning potential threats against teachers at American and international schools in the Middle East:
The Embassy/Consulate wishes to notify the U.S. citizen community of a recent anonymous posting on a Jihadist website that encouraged attacks against teachers at American and other international schools in the Middle East. The Mission is unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American or other school or individual in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Nonetheless, the Mission is working with local schools identified with the United States to review their security posture. U.S. citizens residing in or visiting the UAE should remain vigilant regarding their personal security and be alert to local security developments.
On December 3, ABC News reports that an American kindergarten teacher who is the mother of twins was stabbed to death in the bathroom of an Abu Dhabi shopping mall by a robed figure dubbed the “Reem Island Ghost.” “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 cited by ABC News.
Via Daily Mail:
An American teacher and mother of twins was stabbed to death in a shopping centre toilet in Abu Dhabi by a suspect in a Muslim veil, police said Wednesday.
It was unclear what the motive was for Monday’s attack in the upmarket Boutik Mall on Al Reem Island, which is popular with expats.
Police said the 37-year-old victim, who worked at a nursery school in Abu Dhabi, was stabbed by a person wearing a black robe, black gloves and a niqab — a Muslim veil that conceals the face except for the eyes.
Her 11-year-old twins were taken into police care until their father arrived from abroad.
The stabbing took place on the same day as a recording attributed to IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani urged Muslims to attack Westerners by any means, even if only to “spit on their faces”.
The Daily Mail report notes that an assailant also stabbed and wounded a Canadian while he shopped at a mall in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, this past weekend.
Embassy Abu Dhabi has just released the following security message:
On December 1, a U.S. citizen was killed in a public restroom at a shopping mall on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. The U.S. Embassy is working with all the appropriate authorities to seek further information. While there is no information available at this time about the nature of this crime, we use this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens of the following standing security guidance:
It is always advisable to keep your security and situational awareness levels high.
Please follow these good personal security practices:
- Avoid large crowds or gatherings of unknown origin or circumstances when traveling in public;
- Know where you are going and have a plan of what to do in the event you encounter demonstrations or violence;
- Identify safe areas (for example police stations, hospitals) in your area and how to get to them quickly;
- Tell co-workers or neighbors where you’re going and when you intend to return;
- Minimize your profile while in public;
- Always carry a cell phone and make sure you have emergency numbers pre-programmed into your phone such as the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi (02-414-2200), and U.S. Consulate General in Dubai (04-309-4000). The emergency number for the Abu Dhabi Police, Fire, and Rescue is 999;
- Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities for personal safety concerns;
- Report concerns you may have to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi or the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai.
Abu Dhabi police released the following surveillance video that shows the suspect — wearing a traditional black robe, gloves and having a covered face. The UAE Police reportedly said an investigation is underway into “the cause of the fight and the suspect’s motive, identity and gender.”
Video via YouTube/Abu Dhabi Police:
The Abu Dhabi Police also released the following statement regarding this attack. Excerpt below:
Colonel Dr. Borshid also revealed that the Community Police began taking care of the victim’s 11-year-old twins, “The Community Police will be providing the children with shelter and other needs pending the arrival of their father (the victim’s ex-husband) from abroad. The father will be received by the Community Police, who will also cater to the needs of the victim’s family,” he said.
Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid condemned the hideous crime and expressed his profound regret for such an objectionable phenomenon that is alien to the Emirati society and its deep-rooted traditions. “The Abu Dhabi Police will spare no effort in order to unveil this heinous crime and bring the culprit to justice,” he stressed.
The Ministry of Interior urged the public to call 8002626 to provide any information related to the circumstances and details of the case that may help the investigation efforts.
* * *