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FBI: Ohio man charged in plot to assassinate former President Bush

The 52-year-old man allegedly tried to smuggle four Iraqi nationals into the US to kill the former president.
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Published: May. 24, 2022 at 4:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - A man living in Ohio planned the murder of former US President George W. Bush, according to the FBI.

Shihab Ahmed Shihan Shihab, 52, was arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on federal charges of aiding and abetting a plot to murder the former president. He appeared in federal court at 2:30 p.m.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced the charges Tuesday afternoon.

Shihab came to the US in September 2020 on a visitor visa. In March 2021, he filed an asylum claim for US citizenship, which is pending review.

Shihab lived in Columbus as well as Indianapolis, Indiana, according to the FBI. He worked at markets and restaurants in both cities.

The FBI says Shihab planned to smuggle four Iraqi foreign nationals into the US for the purpose of killing Bush in retaliation for Iraqi casualties during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

After the would-be assassination attempt, according to the FBI, Shahib then planned to smuggle the four out of the US over the US/Mexico border.

Shahib allegedly traveled to Dallas, Texas in February 2020 to conduct surveillance of locations associated with the former president.

The next month, he allegedly met with other people in a Columbus hotel room to review sample firearms and law-enforcement uniforms.

The FBI says Shahib also exchanged money with others in an illegal attempt to bring foreign nationals to the US. In August 2021, he allegedly tried to help a supposed Iraqi citizen get into the US for $40,000. In reality, the person was fictitious, and the interaction was coordinated under the direction of the FBI.

Attempting to illegally bring an individual into the United States is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Aiding and abetting the attempted murder of a former United States Official carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

J. Williams Rivers, special agent in charge of the FBI Cincinnati Division, aided in the investigation.

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