Murdered American mom's twins waited outside mall bathroom while she was stabbed to death by jihadist
The American teacher brutally stabbed to death inside the bathroom of an Abu Dhabi mall last week was attacked while her 11-year-old twin sons waited for her outside, it has emerged.
Ibolya Ryan, who previously lived in Colorado, was stabbed a week ago, in what police have called a 'lone terrorist act' by an Emirati woman who had laid in wait for a Westerner to enter the restroom.
On Monday morning, Ryan's ex-husband, Paul, and their three children, 13-year-old Timea and 11-year-old boys Adam and Aiden, spoke about their heartbreak in an interview with theToday show.
Their father, who lives in Vienna with Timea, revealed that his sons had been at the mall with their mother on the day of the brutal attack. He has still not told them exactly what happened to her.
'The boys did not realize what happened and did not hear their mother cry for help,' he said.
'This lady - I shouldn't even call her a lady - this monster of a person was lying in wait for someone like her for an hour in the bathroom,' he said, becoming emotional. 'Unfortunately it was my kids' mother.'
The boys hugged each other as they paid tribute to their mother and said she was a brave woman.
'She wasn't scared a little bit,' one of the boys said.
'She always just wanted to help you,' Timea said. 'She sacrificed herself for other people.'
She added: 'As long as we're not alone, we still have each other. We're going to do it.'
After Mrs Ryan was killed, police released video of her alleged killer, Dala al Hashmeni, who was dressed in a burqa, walking calmly from the mall and into the parking lot.
The killer then drove to the apartment of an Egyptian-American doctor and left a home-made bomb outside his front door, but it was found by one of his sons and safely dismantled.
Police tracked down the woman within 48 hours of the killing and arrested her in a dramatic night-time raid that was captured on video. Authorities believe she was working alone.
'Nothing so far suggests that the accused has links with terrorist organizations,' an unnamed official, who was quoted by the official UAE news agency, said over the weekend.
The official said initial investigations show that the woman, who is in her 30s, learned how to manufacture explosives from websites affiliated with terrorist organizations.
The suspect's foreign targets appear to have been selected randomly, the official said.
The killer faces the death penalty after she admitted to the murder, but national laws allow the family of the victim to issue a pardon.
The UAE, home to Abu Dhabi and the flashy investment hub of Dubai, prides itself on being a safe haven in the turbulent Middle East. It is part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Candlelight vigils for Ryan were held over the weekend in Abu Dhabi and on Sunday in Dubai.
'We've lived here for seven and a half years and I've never felt anything but safe anywhere I've been day or night, and I really still do feel the same way,' Nancy Ray, an American who was at the vigil in Dubai, said.
'Anything can happen anywhere, in any city in the world, and I've always felt very comfortable in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi.'