The raiding team inside the suspect's villa. Image Credit: Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Police

Abu Dhabi: An Emirati woman has been arrested after she reportedly murdered an American kindergarten teacher, 47, in one of the capital’s malls before planting a bomb outside the flat of another American doctor.

Word of the bloody killing by a suspect with their face completely covered prompted calls by some to question whether wearing a niqab posed possible security concerns.

News of the arrest was announced at an unprecedented press conference on Thursday when Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said security and police forces arrested the suspected woman for the murder.

Shaikh Saif said after committing her first crime, the suspect went to another building on Abu Dhabi Corniche where she planted a primitive bomb on the doorstep of an Egyptian-American doctor’s house. The police forces were able to dismantle the bomb at the right time before it was detonated.

At Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, Shaikh Saif expressed his deep sorrow to witness such crimes in a country that is characterised by security and safety. He said the country’s leadership gave its orders to work day and night to bring the suspect to justice, as she had blatantly disregarded the security and stability of the people and targeted innocent civilians with her cowardly and criminal acts.

Shaikh Saif described the crime as “a slap to every noble human value that the UAE cherishes — all of which are derived from the teachings of Islam and the genuine Arab heritage.”

After allegedly stabbing the 47-year-old mother in the women’s bathroom with a knife on Monday, the suspect fled the Boutik mall.

According to authorities, an hour and 20 minutes later, she planted a bomb outside the home of an American doctor living on the Corniche Road’s Ali and Sons building.

Shortly after, the doctor’s son who was leaving his home for Al Maghrib (evening) prayers, noticed an unidentified object.

Police then dispatched a team to dismantle what appeared to be a bomb.

Sources close to the case told Gulf News that the suspect who was arrested at her home within 48 hours after the murder, was unemployed and had confessed to the authorities.

“All information pertaining to the suspect was uncovered within the first 24 hours after the first crime. A picture of her was circulated among the team that would later ambush her home and arrest her,” said Lt Colonel Khalid Al Shamsi, head of the Security Affairs department at a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters on Thursday.

According to authorities, the suspect is around 38 years old and the contents used in the making of the bomb were later uncovered at her home and in her vehicle. Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), indicated that the perpetrator was targeting her victims based on their skin colour and had no prior connection to them before the incidents.

The suspect had concealed her vehicle licence plate under the UAE flag that hung loosely over the back of her white SUV.

Col Dr Borshid especially thanked the husband of the deceased for his cooperation in addition to members of the public who used the safety hotline 8002626 to provide police with valuable information regarding the case.