According to a Justice Department news release and multiple media reports, an assassination plot targeting former President George W. Bush has been foiled. The alleged plotter, 52-year-old Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab was arrested and appeared in federal court Tuesday. He is facing an immigration crime, as well as a charge of aiding and abetting the attempted murder of a former United States Official.
“Shihab originally entered the United States in September 2020 on a visitor visa, and in March 2021, he filed a claim for asylum with United States citizenship, which is pending review,” the Justice Department said in it’s release. “He lived in both Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis and worked at markets and restaurants in both cities.”
Shihab is an Iraqi citizen. According to a Forbes report on the story, he has been accused of having ties to ISIS. The alleged motivation for the assassination plot was “retaliation of Iraqi deaths during ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’,” according to the department release.
Part of the alleged assassination plot involved smuggling four Iraqi people into the U.S. to carry out the assassination. Shihab then planned to smuggle the four back out of the country after the assassination happened.
“In furtherance of the assassination plot, Shihab allegedly traveled to Dallas in February 2022 to conduct surveillance of locations associated with the former President,” the department said. “In March 2022, it is alleged Shihab met with others in a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, to look at sample firearms and law enforcement uniforms.”
According to the Forbes report, the FBI said it used the work of two confidential informants, as well as surveillance of the alleged plotter’s account on the WhatsApp messaging platform, to uncover the plot.
“Attempting to illegally bring an individual into the United States is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison,” the department said. “Aiding and abetting the attempted murder of a former United States Official carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison.”