An Iraqi man living in Columbus, Ohio who has ISIS ties has been arrested for plotting to kill former president George W. Bush.
The suspect, 52-year-old Shihab Ahmed Shihab, was planning to smuggle his co-conspirators across the effectively open southern border to carry out the assassination, according to reports.
The suspect reportedly wanted revenge for the Bush administration’s controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime and plunged the Middle Eastern nation into years of bloody conflict.
An FBI special agent said the plotters “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.”
At one point, the suspect drove to Bush’s home in Dallas, Texas and took videos to prepare the attack.
The story underscores the national security risks posed by America’s leaky borders, which have become more vulnerable than ever under President Biden.
Shihab entered the U.S. on a visitor’s visa in 2020 and applied for asylum last year. He had planned to smuggle four Iraqis, two of whom were reportedly former spies, across the porous border to carry out the plot.
Suspect wanted revenge
The suspect shared his plans with FBI informants, telling them he was not afraid to die and “would be proud to have been involved in killing” Bush.
Shihab is facing up to 10 years in prison for trying to smuggle his fellow plotters into the U.S., which is a federal immigration offense, and up to 20 years for aiding and abetting the murder plot.
“President Bush has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities,” Freddy Ford, chief of staff for the Office of George W. Bush, said in a statement.
This comes after Bush made headlines last week over what appeared to many to be a Freudian slip about the war that defined his controversial legacy.
As he was speaking about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Bush mistakenly condemned “the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” then quickly corrected himself: “I mean of Ukraine.”