By Tom Winter, Ken Dilanian and Pete Williams, NBC News reporters
An Iraqi who entered the US two years ago allegedly plotted to kill George W Bush, even travelling to Texas to surveil the former president’s home, according to an FBI search warrant affidavit obtained by NBC News.
The FBI alleges that Shihab Ahmed Shihab wanted to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, telling a confidential FBI source that he wanted to smuggle people into the country “to murder former President George W Bush” because he held him responsible for killing numerous Iraqis in the 2003 invasion of the country.
Forbes first reported the alleged plot. NBC News was not immediately able to find a representative of Shihab, who is in custody, to comment.
According to the search warrant application, the FBI is considering charges of threats against a former president, material support to ISIS and visa fraud.
The FBI says Shihab entered the US legally in September 2020 and then applied for political asylum while also trying to marry a US woman to secure his immigration status. The documents say the investigation initially began as an immigration or visa fraud case and morphed into something allegedly more sinister.
According to the filings, Shihab made claims to a confidential FBI source that he drove a transport vehicle with bombs in Iraq and had an association with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed by the US in 2019.
In June, Shihab allegedly told a confidential source that he would pay at least $5,000 (around £4,000) to smuggle four former Baath party members located in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Denmark into the US.