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Iraqi national charged with alleged plot to assassinate George Bush in Texas

PM:06:40:25/05/2022

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SULAIMANI — An Iraqi national was arrested in Ohio on federal charges over a plot to assassinate former US President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Tuesday (May 24).

Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, a 52-years-old resident of Columbus, Ohio, has been in the US since 2020 and applied for asylum in 2021, according to the DOJ.

Shihab allegedly traveled to Dallas with an FBI informant to take surveillance video footage of the former president’s residence and the George W. Bush Institute, according to Forbes. He also told an FBI source he planned to secure Mexican visas for Iraqi nationals, variously described as former Baath party members and Islamic State operatives, and smuggle them into the US as part of the scheme.

The suspect said he had been in contact with a former Iraqi minister in Qatar who served under Saddam Hussein, and he claimed to have smuggled two people associated with the group Hezbollah into the US. He also claimed to have killed Americans in Iraq between 2003 and 2006, according to Forbes.

The FBI was able to uncover the plot through informants and surveillance of Shihab’s WhatsApp account, Forbes reported.

Shihab is charged with an immigration crime and with "abetting a plot to murder” the former US president, the DOJ announced, which stated he had allegedly agreed to aid a person he believed to be an Iraqi national enter the US for $40,000.

The DOJ said he "accepted tens of thousands of dollars for the purported smuggling,” in an undercover FBI operation. It also noted he had "met with others in a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, to look at sample firearms and law enforcement uniforms.”

(NRT Digital Media)