A travel ban from Islamic terror states made a lot of sense. It just didn’t go far enough. As this latest case shows.
An Iraqi citizen living in Columbus, Ohio, has been charged federally with an immigration crime and with aiding and abetting a plot to murder former United States President George W. Bush.
Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, was arrested by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents this morning and appeared in federal court here at 2:30pm. His case was unsealed at that time.
Shihab originally entered the United States in September 2020 on a visitor visa, and in March 2021, he filed a claim for asylum with United States citizenship, which is pending review. He lived in both Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis and worked at markets and restaurants in both cities.
Shihab Shihab, so amazing they named him three times.
The triple Shihab entered the United States on September 2020. While Trump’s Executive Order 13780 was in effect until Biden revoked it on taking office in 2021, it was inferior to trump’s original Executive Order 13769 or the so-called Muslim ban in a number of ways. And while 13769 was tossed aside mostly due to legal challenges, that was not the case with the Iraq part of it.
Iraq was removed from a revised version of an executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries after intensive lobbying from the Iraqi government at the highest levels, a senior US official told CNN Monday.
The pressure from the Iraq officials included a phone call between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on February 10 and an in-person conversation between Abadi and Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on February 18.
Those conversations were followed by discussions between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and members of the Iraqi government about vetting measures in place that would prevent suspected terrorists from leaving Iraq and coming to the United States.
Tillerson described his efforts in public remarks Monday after the new order had been signed.
“Iraq is an important ally in the fight to defeat ISIS, with their brave soldiers fighting in close coordination with America’s men and women in uniform,” he said. “This intense review over the past month identified multiple security measures that the State Department and the government of Iraq will be implementing to achieve our shared objective of preventing those with criminal or terroristic intent from reaching the United States.”
We can see how that worked out.
Iraq, a playground for ISIS and Iran, is the poster boy for a travel ban.