FBI stopped plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush
Shihab Ahmed Shihab has been charged with the attempted murder of a former United States official and with immigration crimes for allegedly planning to smuggle four Iraqi nationals into the United States.
The FBI said it uncovered a plot to kill George W. Bush by monitoring a man’s account on the Meta-owned WhatsApp messaging platform and using confidential informants. Shihab said that Bush was responsible for killing many Iraqis and breaking apart the country.
Shihab revealed to an FBI insider the plot to assassinate Bush and asked the confidential source for help obtaining police and FBI identifications and badges for the plotters.
Shihab claimed to be part of a group called Al-Raed, led by a former Iraqi pilot for Saddam Hussein, that planned to kill President Bush. Shihab also took videos of Bush’s residence and the George W. Bush Institute.
The FBI said that Shihab planned to get four Iraqi national males into the U.S. using fake passport information.
The FBI used a pen register on the chief suspect’s WhatsApp account to determine how often it was used, what numbers it was contacting, and whether it was active. The suspect was unaware that the FBI could see every message sent to confidential sources.
The sources secretly recorded the in-person meetings with the alleged plotter, who claimed to have killed many Americans in Iraq between 2003 and 2006.
The FBI applied for a search warrant for the phone records of a Shihab Ahmed Shihab, who entered the US in September 2020.
Shihab and an FBI informant allegedly discussed killing Bush in November, January, and February.
Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, told Forbes that the plot was sophisticated and unique. It also showed that undercover operatives can be used to overcome encryption. As WhatsApp is using end-to-end encryption in their chats, the two parties talking are the only ones who can see what it says.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- FBI investigating plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush CNN
- ISIS affiliated suspect arrested for alleged plot to kill President Bush Fox News
- ISIS plot to assassinate George W. Bush broken up: report The Hill
- ISIS operative plotted to kill George W. Bush in Dallas, FBI documents reportedly show FOX 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth
- ISIS operative in U.S. plotted to assassinate George W. Bush, FBI alleges NBC News
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