An Iraqi who sought political asylum in the United States planned to kill former President George W. Bush, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
Shihab Ahmed Shihab, 52, told an FBI informant he wanted to smuggle at least four other Iraqis into the country across the Mexican border to carry out the plot, according to an FBI statement filed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio.
Two of the strike team would be former Iraqi intelligence agents, while the others would be members of the Islamic State or another hardline Qatari group, Shihab, called “al-Raed”.
Shihab told the informant that they wanted to kill Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, “because they thought he was responsible for killing many Iraqis and dividing the entire country of Iraq,” according to the document.
He told the informant that he was a cousin of former Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and had killed Americans in the years following the invasion.
Shihab was arrested on Tuesday and was charged in federal court with immigration felony and complicity in the attempted murder of a former US employee.
A Columbus resident, Shihab, and the informant even went so far as to scout locations associated with Bush in Dallas, Texas, and discussed how to obtain weapons, official security uniforms, and vehicles to be used in the plot.
He also offered to help a second FBI informant smuggle family members into the United States for tens of thousands of dollars.
Shihab arrived in the United States on a visitor’s visa in September 2020 and applied for asylum in March 2021, when his visa expired.
The statement indicates that the FBI had the first contact of the Shihab informant shortly thereafter.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)