'Ghost of Reem Island' sentenced to death in UAE

'Ghost of Reem Island' sentenced to death in UAE
An Emirati woman, dubbed the Ghost of Reem Island, has been sentenced to death after she was convicted of killing a US teacher in a UAE mall.
2 min read
29 June, 2015
UAE's interior ministry released a video showing Hashemi at the Reem Island mall

An Emirati woman has been sentenced to death for the extremist inspired killing of a US nursery teacher in the UAE's capital.

UAE's high court found Alaa Bader al-Hashemi guilty of stabbing the expatriate to death in the toilets of a Abu Dhabi shopping mall on Reem Island, in December 2014.

She was also said to have created a homemade bomb, which she planted outside the home of an US-Egyptian doctor.

CCTV footage showed Hashemi entering the mall and the toilets were the murder happened completely covered in a black abaya and niqab, with UAE media dubbing her "the Ghost of Reem Island". 

Hashemi was arrested within 48 hours of the murder, with UAE police filming the swoop on her Abu Dhabi home.

The federal supreme court also found the 30-year-old guilty of sending funds to al-Qaeda in Yemen.

As the ruling was issued by the UAE's highest legal authority, it means that Hashemi cannot appeal against her death sentence.

UAE daily The National reported that Hashemi showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

International media have been denied access to her trial, which began on March 23.

Hashemi's lawyers had alleged that the defendent was suffering from, a mental illness saying she had "unreal visions" and would see "ghost-like people".

The court ordered psychiatric tests which it said showed she was aware of her actions, although this was disputed by Hashemi's lawyers.

According to prosecutors, the Emirati woman was inspired by speeches by al-Qaeda figures such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and propoganda videos of extremist outfits such as the Islamic State group.

She was said to have watched online videos on how to build bombs, and constructed her own Islamic State group flag.

Sixteen days before she committed the murder, her husband was arrested.

The Abu-Dhabi based newspaper said that this was the reason she killed the American woman.

Hashemi was led out of court smiling and waving at her father and brother, according to The National.