Forbes and NBC News are out with stories asserting that the FBI foiled a recent ISIS plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush. The accounts are based on FBI search warrants and court documents unsealed in federal court in Ohio that include informants' details about the alleged scheme. NBC identifies the suspect as Shihab Ahmed Shihab, an Iraqi citizen believed to have entered the country legally. The outlet says he is in custody, but no charges have yet been filed. Forbes describes him as "an alleged ISIS operative" in Columbus, Ohio, who has been in the US for two years. Maybe the most disturbing detail is that he allegedly took video of Bush's residence in Dallas in November as well as the George W. Bush Institute in the same city. The alleged motive? Revenge for the Iraq war.
At some point, two undercover FBI informants began working with the man, who allegedly sought their help in trying to smuggle in accomplices and with other parts of the plot. Just how legit were the plans? "It's clear this was a sophisticated counterterrorism operation with a lot of moving parts," Seamus Hughes of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University tells Forbes. "It was both far reaching and unique in its targeting." Bush's reps didn't sound especially worried, however: The former president "has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities," says one. (Bush recently made a headline-generating slip when referring to the Ukraine war.)