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A strong message against terror

Emirati woman Alaa Bader Abdullah Al Hashemi, 29, appears to have acted alone but she was certainly influenced by extremist ideology.



Published: Tue 30 Jun 2015, 9:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

In a landmark verdict, a woman known as the ‘Reem Island ghost’ has been found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of an American woman expat, and for her attempt to kill a man with a home-made bomb. The verdict sends out a strong message and comes on the heels of deadly attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia and France that there will be zero-tolerance of violence and terror in the UAE.

Emirati woman Alaa Bader Abdullah Al Hashemi, 29, appears to have acted alone but she was certainly influenced by extremist ideology. Therefore, the court viewed her killing of American Ibolya Ryan, 47, last December as an act of terror and handed out the capital punishment. Alaa stalked Ibolya to the washroom of the Boutik Mall on Al Reem Island, and stabbed her to death. The killer who wore a veil, casually walked out of the mall and headed home without being stopped because no one suspected her movements.

Security cameras, however, caught the suspect making her entry, heading for the toilet, and later exiting from scene of the crime. Police tracked her down and arrested her the next day.

A search of her house yielded vital clues which showed she was receiving instructions on terror. Using bomb-making manuals, she even managed to assemble a crude device, which she placed at the home of a doctor which, thankfully, did not go off.

What’s worrying about this case is that there is no direct link to any terror outfit. Normal people all over the wold are being lured to larger plots by terror groups like Daesh and Al Qaeda to spread their brand of ideology and violence against other sects and religions. The West has been targetting lone wolves and sleeper units of these groups, but the task is onerous. It’s akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.

Many people live dual lives: ordinary folks by day and silent, wannabe killers on the Net and on social media where their terror handlers indoctrinate them and guide them to cause maximum damage in places where they live.

The UAE earlier brought to book several members of the Muslim Brotherhood. But more must be done to prevent lone agents who may be linked to Daesh and other terror groups from rearing their heads. The message must go out loud and clear that terrorist groups and individuals are marked for death in the UAE.


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