FBI uncovers Iraqi man’s plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush

FILE – U.S. President George W. Bush, reacts, after shoes were thrown at him, by a correspondent, during a joint press conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, not seen, in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/ Thaier al-Sudani, Pool, File)

UPDATED 1:50 PM PT – Tuesday, May 24, 2022

An Iraqi man living in Columbus, Ohio is in FBI custody in connection with a suspected ISIS plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush. According to a recently unsealed search warrant Shihab Ahmend Shihab detailed his plan to take revenge for the Iraq War to an informant.

That same informant reportedly drove the suspect around Dallas, Texas in February, where he took video and photos of Bush’s home and offices. Federal agents said the suspect wanted to assassinate Bush because he felt the former president was responsible for “killing many Iraqis and breaking apart the country after the 2003 US military invasion.”

“President Bush has all the confidence in the world,” said the former Chief of Staff Freddy Ford. “In the U.S. Secret Service, our law enforcement and intelligence communities.”

The FBI claimed that Shihab belonged to a group named Arabic for Thunder, headed until recently by a former pilot for the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The FBI also surveilled the suspect’s WhatsApp account to collect evidence and said he had been living in the U.S. since 2020.

Shihab allegedly told the informant “he wanted to be involved in the actual attack and assassination” and that he “did not care if he died as he would be proud to have been involved.” A federal agent mentioned that he inquired about how to obtain fake FBI and police badges.

The suspect is also accused of trying to smuggle four other Iraqi nationals into the country across the southern border. He is being charged with aiding and abetting the attempted murder of former President Bush which carries a prison sentence up to 20 years, along with being charged with attempting to illegally bring an individual into the U.S., a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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