An Iraqi national living in Columbus, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday and faces federal charges related to an alleged plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush, the Justice Department announced.
Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab has been charged with aiding and abetting the attempted murder of a former United States Official, as well as with an immigration crime for his alleged attempt to illegally bring foreign nationals to the United States.
According to the Justice Department, Shihab is alleged to have planned to smuggle four Iraqi nationals as part of plot. Court documents obtained by CNN describe reconnaissance by Shihab that included driving to the neighborhood of Bush’s residence in Dallas.
“President Bush has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities,” Bush’s chief of staff Freddy Ford said in a statement.
The investigation was disclosed in a March 23 application filed under seal, seeking a search warrant for phone records of a person identified in the documents as Shihab Ahmed Shihab, who entered the US in September 2020.
The FBI uncovered the plot through confidential informants, one of whom recorded discussions about the assassination plot with Shihab in meetings late last year and through the spring, the documents show. There is no suggestion in the documents that the former President was ever in danger.
The warrant application, filed in the Southern District of Ohio, was first reported by Forbes.
One of those conversations was alleged to have happened in November during a trip that Shihab and the informant took from Columbus, Ohio, to the Detroit area and back.
During the November meeting, Shihab is alleged to have told an FBI informant that “they wished to kill former President Bush because they felt that he was responsible for killing many Iraqis and breaking apart the entire country of Iraq.”
According to a January conversation recounted in the warrant application, Shihab described himself as a “soldier waiting for directions from the leadership in Qatar.”
In February, during in-person meetings in Dallas that the documents say were recorded, Shihab and the informant drove to the neighborhood of Bush’s residence in Dallas, as Shihab took videos of the neighborhood’s access gate and the surrounding area, according to the documents.
During the February meetings, Shihab and the informant also traveled to the George W. Bush Institute, where they walked around on foot.