Saudi woman murdered in UK 'targeted for being Muslim'

British police believe a female Saudi student wearing an abaya & headscarf who was stabbed to death on Tuesday may have been targeted for her religion.

Image for illustrative purposes only.

Image for illustrative purposes only.

A female Saudi student murdered on a British street in broad daylight may have been targeted because of her Muslim dress, police reportedly said.

The woman, who was in her early 30s, was wearing a navy blue full-length Abaya and a multi-coloured hijab headscarf when she was attacked at 10.40am on Tuesday, local media reported.

Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings said it appeared the woman had been stabbed and she also suffered facial injuries.

She died at the scene in Colchester, 100 kilometres north of London, from head and body injuries.

Hawkings said police were keeping an open mind about the motive of the attack but were investigating whether her religion played a role.

“We are conscious that the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation but again there is no firm evidence at this time that she was targeted because of her religion,” she was quoted as saying.

“We have not yet been able to formally identify the victim but we believe we know who she is and specially trained family liaison officers are speaking with her family now.

“A forensic post-mortem is due to be carried out this afternoon to establish the cause of death but at this time it would appear that a knife or other bladed weapon was used in this attack.

“The victim also suffered facial injuries but the cause of these has yet to be established.

“We have no further detail on the murder weapon or weapons at this time but if anyone comes across any suspicious items which they think could be connected to this murder we would ask them to call us.”

The Saudi embassy said its ambassador to the UK was taking an active role in the case.

"Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf expressed in a telephone call on Tuesday to the brother of the deceased his sincerest condolences to her family, affirming the embassy's speed in taking all the procedures for the transfer of the body of the deceased to the kingdom. He also asserted that the case is in his personal attention," the embassy said in a statement quoted by The Guardian.

Police also have asked nearby residents to check their gardens and bins for potential weapons or bloodied clothing, and have called on anyone who was in the vicinity of the area during that morning to contact them.

Sniffer dogs and a helicopter with thermal imaging equipment also are being used in the investigation.

A 52-year-old man from Colchester was arrested on Tuesday night in connection with the incident.

Hawkings said police also were looking at possible links with the murder of a vulnerable man with brain damage who died after being stabbed more than 100 times at a park in the town in March.

“There are some immediate similarities between this murder and that of James Attfield but there are also a large number of differences as well,” she said.

“There is no current known motive for this attack and we are keeping an open mind and exploring all possible avenues of investigation.”

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Posted by: christine winnan

It was more than likely one of those honour killings

Posted by: SAS

This is a very tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers should be with this woman and her family. However until all the facts of the murder are known, it would not be sensible to comment on whether this was a hate crime.

Posted by: RAH

Instead of all the bashing in here, take a moment to actually think of her and her family?s pain by praying for her.

May she rest in peace and may Allah reward her the highest level of heaven - to her and to her grieving family who have to endure this tragic loss of an innocent life.


Posted by: Red Snappa

An incident, all the more strange as well as tragic, as Colchester is home to a large garrison of British Armed Forces, the 2nd and 3rd Parachute Regiments are stationed there. So security is likely to be high, especially as the International University is also located there.

Very, very sad, but equally possible that the killer is mentally ill with a hatred of women, at 52 years old he may also have been looking for money, but multiple stab wounds as well as facial damage points to the former. A deliberate Muslim target is the third option here, there are just under 3 million Muslims in the UK, almost 5 per cent of the population, so they are relatively common sight.

Although that said, according to Met Police crime statistics published up to March 2014, there has been an increase in racist and religious based crime against Muslims, up by 65.7% on the year-to-date, and of course that covers London alone.

Yet, surveys say Islamophobia is more prevalent among younger Britons?

Posted by: Colin Occupants

The 52 year old man has been ruled out and has been released. They have no idea who carried out the attack, whether it was an Islamophobic attack or some kind of honour killing, or any other possible motive.

Posted by: Saudi Engineer

Insightful intelligent comment backed up by actual facts. Well said.

Posted by: Disgusted

More dreadful reporting from Arabian business. The article reads "Saudi women murdered in UK targeted for being Muslim" yet ends with the police being quoted as "There is no current known motive for this attack and we are keeping an open mind and exploring all possible avenues of investigation."

It is unhelpful and scandalous journalism like this that fuels the fire of the fundamentalists and extremists of this World.

This article not only calls into question the legitimacy of the reporting, but also creates a question mark over the motives and political persuasion of the headline makers and journalists at Arabian Business. Shame on you - this is a clear abuse of the media.

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