A SUSPECTED ISIS operative has been arrested after the FBI claims he was orchestrating an assassination plot against former President George W Bush, reports claim.
The FBI has arrested Shihab Ahmed Shihab of Columbus, Ohio, claiming he wanted to smuggle four to six associates from Iraq into the US through the Mexico border to kill the 43rd president.
In an unsealed FBI search warrant obtained by Forbes, federal agents uncovered Shihab’s alleged assassination plot from two confidential informants and close monitoring of his WhatsApp account.
According to the FBI, Shihab, an alleged ISIS operative, was tasked with “locating and conducting surveillance” on Bush’s residence and office.
Federal agents said the suspect wanted to assassinate Bush because he felt the former president was responsible for “killing many Iraqis and breaking apart the country after the 2003 US military invasion.”
Per the FBI search warrant, the scheme organizer had been in the US since 2020 and had a pending asylum application.
Agents allegedly used two confidential sources to unearth the plot.
One informant pretended to be a human smuggler, offering assistance in obtaining false immigration and identification documents, while the other claimed to be a fellow customer.
Last November, Shihab allegedly revealed his plot to the informant and asked if he knew how to “obtain replica or fraudulent police and/of FBI identification and badges,” Forbes reports citing the federal warrant.
He also allegedly told the informant if it was possible to “smuggle the plotters out of the country the same way they came in after their mission was complete,” according to the unsealed warrant.
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FBI officials claim Shihab revealed to federal informants that he was part of a unit called “Al-Raed,” meaning “Thunder,” led by a former Iraqi pilot of Saddam Hussein.
According to the warrant, as many as seven members of the group would be sent to the US to kill former President Bush.
‘LOCATE AND SURVEILLANCE’ BUSH
Shihab’s job was “to locate and conduct surveillance on former president Bush’s residence and/or offices and obtain firearms and vehicles to use in the assassination,” per the warrant.
Federal agents claim the suspect traveled to Dallas with the informant to video-tape Bush’s residence and the George W Bush Institute.
In one conversation with one FBI informant, Shihab allegedly said he was planning to get four Iraqi national males from Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Denmark into the US, per the docs.
The alleged operative claims the men were former Baath Party members, the political organization of Hussein, who was ousted in the 2003 US invasion.
Federal agents claim Shihab was in close contact with his overseas associates via a fake Facebook profile.
The FBI was also able to track the suspect’s conversations on WhatsApp because the suspect began using a phone given to him by one of the informants.
From 2021 to 2022, FBI informants passed along the messages between them and Shihab to federal agents.
The FBI was also secretly recording in-person meetings with the alleged plotter in which additional startling details were revealed, according to the federal agency.
NBC News reported that Shihab was in federal custody.
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