Matt Bush, FISM News
An Iraqi national living in Ohio is under arrest for participating in an alleged plot to kill President George W. Bush. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Southern Ohio stated that the motive behind the plots was the “retaliation of Iraqi deaths during ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’”
The man arrested was 52-year-old Shihab Ahmed Shihab who came to America in 2020 on a visitor visa and then applied for asylum in March of 2021. His application for asylum was still under review at the time of his arrest.
During his time in the U.S. Shihab allegedly exchanged money with others in an attempt to illegally bring foreign nationals into the United States. Shihab used his illegal human trafficking ring to help aid his assassination plot, allegedly bringing four other Iraqi nationals across the southern border to help in his scheme.
A press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that in August 2021, Shihab intended to help one of the Iraqi nationals enter the U.S. for a fee of $40,000. Shihab then provided specific and detailed instructions on how he would smuggle the person in after 60 days.
In October and December of that year, Shihab accepted tens of thousands of dollars for the smuggling operation. The person with whom Shihab conspired was fictitious as part of an FBI operation, as part of an investigation into Shihab’s dealings. While speaking with undercover operatives, Shihab revealed that he had direct connections with ISIS and had driven vans loaded with bombs for the terrorist organization
As part of the assassination plot, in February of this year Shihab traveled to Dallas to take video surveillance of President Bush’s residence and other locations the former president was associated with.
In March, Shihab went a step farther, meeting with others in a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio to plan out the details of the attack. The meeting involved inspecting firearms and law enforcement uniforms that would be used in the plot.
The FBI maintains that former president Bush never faced any immediate danger as the alleged plot was still in the planning phase, and the FBI was constantly monitoring the plans.
Freddy Ford, Chief of Staff for the office of George W. Bush, said in a statement, “President Bush has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities.” There are no indications that any steps have been taken to increase or change the security around President Bush.
One of the key aspects of this story is that Shihab, and presumably others, see the crisis at the southern border as a weakness that can be exploited for nefarious reasons. His plan hinged on the idea that it is easier to get people to the southern border and to smuggle them across there rather than more traditional means of entering America. ABC News reports that Shihab, “repeatedly made claims to a separate confidential source that he’d be able to get a fake passport and be able to smuggle that source’s brother through the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Shihab is charged with aiding and abetting the attempted murder of a U.S. president, which can lead to prison time of up to 20 years. In addition, he is charged with attempting to bring an individual into the U.S. illegally which can garner a 10-year prison sentence of its own.