FBI Arrests Iraqi Migrant Accused Of Plotting To Assassinate George W. Bush

Federal agents on Tuesday arrested an Iraqi immigrant accused of planning to assassinate former President George W. Bush.

Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, was arrested and charged with attempting to bring foreign nationals into the United States illegally and with aiding and abetting a plot to assassinate a former U.S. official, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Agents with the FBI’s counterterrorism unit arrested Shihab in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday morning. Agents oversaw an operation which resulted in Shihab allegedly receiving tens of thousands of dollars in order to help several foreign nationals illegally migrate to the United States from across the southern border.

“[I]n August 2021, Shihab allegedly intended to help who he thought was another Iraqi citizen enter the United States for a fee of $40,000. Shihab provided specific instructions on how he would smuggle the person into the United States after 60 days,” the DOJ said. “In October and December 2021, Shihab accepted tens of thousands of dollars for the purported smuggling. In reality, the individual was fictitious, and the interaction was coordinated under the direction of the FBI.”

Shihab had plans to bring over four other Iraqi nationals to carry out a plot to assassinate Bush in retaliation for Iraqi death in “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” according to the charging documents.

“President Bush has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities,” Freddy Ford, chief of staff for the Office of George W. Bush, told Forbes.

The alleged plot to assassinate Bush was first revealed by Forbes, which obtained an FBI search warrant application filed on Monday. The affidavit said that Shihab planned to assassinate the former president and took steps to carry out the plot, even traveling to Dallas to take video of Bush’s ranch and the George W. Bush Institute.

Shihab allegedly plotted to get four Iraqi citizens living in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Denmark into the U.S. through the southern border to assassinate Bush, then planned for those four to leave the country to escape law enforcement. According to the FBI, Shihab told one confidential FBI source that one of the men he planned to bring into the U.S. is “the secretary of an ISIS financial minister.” All of the men, he allegedly said, are “former Baath Party members in Iraq who did not agree with the current Iraqi government and were political exiles.”

BREAKING: Death Toll From Texas Elementary School Shooting Continues To Climb

The number of people killed in the Texas school tragedy on Tuesday continued to climb into the night as the number of fatalities jumped from 15 to at least 20.

The tragedy unfolded when an 18-year-old male stormed Robb Elementary School and began opening fire on students. The Daily Wire is not naming the suspect due to company policy about not giving notoriety to mass murderers.

Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez (D) told CNN that he was informed by Texas law enforcement officials that 18 children were killed along with three adults.

Democrats immediately seized on the tragedy as many called for new gun control laws while other Democrats used it as a cudgel to attack Republicans.

The shooting happened in the city of Uvalde, which is approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio and has a population of roughly 16,000 people.

“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said. “Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering.”

“We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School,” he continued. “I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal.”

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), who represents the district where the tragedy occurred, responded by saying that he was “heartbroken” by the day’s events.

“It is devastating when our innocent children become the victims of senseless violence. We are devastated,” he wrote. “While we monitor this situation, we remember that Uvalde, while rocked by today’s events, is strong and resilient. In this time of trepidation, our office is always here to do whatever we can to help. We are family and we will continue to be here for each other.”

This is a breaking news story; refresh the page for updates.

Brian Kemp Wins Georgia GOP Gubernatorial Primary; Will Face Democrat Stacey Abrams In General

Georgia candidates Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams locked up the GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations, respectively, on Tuesday night during the Peach State’s primary, Decision Desk HQ has announced.

Kemp, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence, defeated several other candidates, including former Senator David Perdue (R-GA) who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Abrams ran unopposed. On Monday, The Daily Wire reported that Pence appeared at a campaign rally for Kemp on Monday night. Trump also joined a tele-rally for Perdue on Monday, despite reports that he had backed away from his endorsement.

“The Kemp campaign, together with Fake News NBC, has put out a phony narrative that I have given up on David Perdue in Georgia,” Trump said on his social media site, Truth Social, regarding that report.

“That is completely false!” he added. “I am with David all the way because Brian Kemp was the worst governor in the country on election integrity!”

Pence, meanwhile, said that Kemp was his “friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia.”

“I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia,” he added.

As pointed out by Business Insider’s Grace Panetta, Perdue is now the third Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate “to lose in as many weeks.”

BREAKING: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wins the GOP nomination & defeats Trump-endorsed primary challenger David Perdue, Insider and @DecisionDeskHQ project. Perdue is the third Trump-backed governor candidate to lose in as many weeks,” Panetta tweeted.

With 23% of the vote in, Kemp has 126,502 votes, Perdue has 35,722, Kandiss Taylor has 5,735 votes, Catherine Davis has 1,434 votes, and Tom Williams has 471 votes.

This is a breaking story and will be updated. Please check back for updates.

Top Hedge Fund Manager Sees Two Ways Out Of Soaring Inflation, And Neither One Is Pretty

Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman said on Tuesday afternoon that there are two ways the United States can escape soaring inflation — the Federal Reserve taking a hard-line stance on rising price levels or an economic collapse.

In a preliminary effort to curb inflation, the Fed increased interest rates by a half point earlier this month — which marked the largest rate hike since May 2000, and followed a quarter point increase from near-zero levels two months ago. However, Ackman argued that inflation is still “out of control” — and that markets are “imploding” as a result.

“If the Fed doesn’t do its job, the market will do the Fed’s job, and that is what is happening now,” Ackman argued on Twitter.

Indeed, the Dow Jones has fallen from over $36,000 at the end of 2021 to under $32,000 as of Tuesday afternoon — tracking with a rise in inflation rates from 7.0% to 8.3%, as well as other economic calamities like the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The only way to stop today’s raging inflation is with aggressive monetary tightening or with a collapse in the economy,” Ackman continued. “There is no prospect for a material reduction in inflation unless the Fed aggressively raises rates, or the stock market crashes, catalyzing an economic collapse and demand destruction.”

Though a stock market crash is by no means desirable, an aggressive rate hike would increase the cost of borrowing money — likely slowing economic activity as a result.

Ackman condemned “various current and former Fed members” refraining from an aggressive stance on inflation over the past few days. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic affirmed on Tuesday, for example, that the central bank should exercise caution while raising rates.

“The Fed has already lost credibility for its misread and late pivot on inflation,” Ackman asserted. “Current Fed policy and guidance are setting us up for double-digit sustained inflation that can only be forestalled by a market collapse or a massive increase in rates.”

The “downward market spiral” will end when the Fed draws “a line in the sand” and puts “the inflation genie” back in the bottle, Ackman added. “Markets will soar once investors can be confident that the days of runaway inflation are over. Let’s hope the Fed gets it right.”

Unlike Ackman, President Joe Biden is portraying optimism about the state of the economy.

During a press conference earlier this week, a reporter pressed Biden on “record-high inflation” and “enormously high gas prices” in the United States. “Given the cross-currents of the economy right now — the war in Ukraine, the China lockdowns that we’ve seen — should Americans be prepared for a recession? In your view, is a recession in the United States inevitable?” the reporter asked.

Biden replied simply: “No.”

The reporter followed up: “Why not?”

Among other things, Biden pointed toward gains in employment and a handful of large foreign projects in the United States. “Here’s the situation,” Biden said. “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”

Despite President Biden’s optimism, the vast majority of Americans are wary of his economic performance. While 64% disagree with his handling of the economy, 70% disapprove of his approach toward inflation.

Biden Should Halt Immigration Enforcement In Area Of Texas Shooting: CNN National Security Analyst

In the wake of the horrifying school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem posited that the Biden administration should halt immigration enforcement in the area.

Kayyem formerly served as an Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security in the Obama administration.

“The most important thing for the federal government to do right now is to say there will be no immigration enforcement during this period in that area,” Kayyem stated, noting that the demographics school district showed it was 80% Hispanic.

Kayyem referred to the “political issues in Texas,” as she said, “It has a large immigration population. You want parents with their kids; you don’t want people hiding right now, and we need to make that clear ASAP because of the political issues in Texas.”

“Again, I don’t know motives; we don’t know motives; I am just telling you demographics,” she said later. “It is a predominantly Hispanic population with a large immigrant community relatively near San Antonio.”

“We need the federal government to say right now, everyone is essentially safe harbor right now in terms of immigration status,” she declared. “We need people to come forward, not to be fearful of immigration status; get their kids, get their family members, because what happens in incidents like this is we’re going to have a strong police presence, a strong federal presence. We know this.”

“A lot of people do not react, especially if their status is unknown., do not react to police presence as you or I may, and we want to make sure that they know, despite all the politics going on in Texas right now, it’s the federal government that’s in charge of immigration enforcement,” she said. “And people are safe; get your kids, get your families together; do not hide. The White House just needs to say that right now.”

In late March, commenting on the scores of illegal immigrants who had been released in his town, Don McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, said, “I got here at 7:40 a.m. and they were already out. … People in our community are fed up with it. … And it’s not like we want to dump ’em on San Antonio but you have thousands more resources than we do here in Uvalde.”

This week, McLaughlin said, “The Hispanic community is fed up with this. We have a lot of great Hispanic families in our community; their parents came over the right way.”

Democrats Pounce On Texas School Shooting, Demand Taking Away Constitutional Rights

Democrats across the U.S. responded to Tuesday’s tragic school shooting in Texas by demanding that new gun control laws be passed that would crack down on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

The calls to implement the gun control laws came after an 18-year-old male opened fire inside Robb Elementary School, killing more than 15 people, most of whom were children.

Leading the charge in pushing for more gun control laws was Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who said that Republicans needed to find a way to work with Democrats to “pass laws that make this less likely.”

Murphy also suggested that mental illness was not the problem when it came to major shootings.

“Spare me the bull**** about mental illness. We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world,” Murphy claimed. “You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we don’t — we’re not an outlier on mental illness. We’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the ability of criminals and very sick people to get their hands on firearms. That’s what makes America different.”

Other notable Democrats who seized on the tragedy to call for more gun control laws included Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“The horrific rampage in TX once again makes clear that there are some very sick people in this country with guns in their hands who should not have them,” Sanders said. “Congress may not be able to end this problem, but we must at least pass commonsense gun reforms to finally protect the public.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed that “there is no such thing as being ‘pro-life’ while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place.”

“It is an idolatry of violence,” she added. “And it must end.”

California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom claimed that Republicans “won’t do a damn thing” about shootings, adding, “We need nationwide, comprehensive, commonsense gun safety NOW.”

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) wrote, “Abolish the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation now.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also called for passing new gun control laws.

“The only adjectives left to describe yet another school shooting are ‘sick’ and ‘tired’ of conservative extremists blocking common-sense steps to reduce the risk of these atrocities ripping away the lives of children and leaving their families to grieve their devastating losses,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted.