10 Foiled Assassination Attempts

10 Foiled Assassination Attempts 10 George Bush Sr

Back in 1993, George Bush Sr was visiting Kuwait to commemorate the success of the Gulf War two years earlier While he was on that trip, Kuwaiti authorities arrested a group of Iraqi alcohol smugglers carrying 90 kilograms of plastic explosives According to an FBI investigation, these men had allegedly plotted to assassinate the former president at the behest of the Iraqi intelligence forces In other words, Saddam Hussein

Now, there’s some uncertainty as to whether there really was a Saddam-backed plot, largely due to conflicting claims about torture by the Kuwaitis But in any case, the FBI findings had major consequences President Bill Clinton launched a retaliatory cruise missile attack on Iraq and killed 8 people, some of whom were civilians Some have even pointed to it as part of George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq a decade later, since he called Saddam ‘the guy who tried to kill my dad’

9 Teddy Roosevelt Long before the two term limit came into force in 1951, Theodore Roosevelt began his campaign for his third crack at the presidency in 1912 But that didn’t sit too well John Schrank, an unemployed saloon keeper living in New York Schrank made the trip to Wisconsin while Teddy was on the campaign trail to take him out, and that was supposedly on advisement from the ghost of William Mckinley, the assassinated president Roosevelt succeeded Schrank made his shot just before the president was about to deliver a speech, but luckily for him, he had a 50 page script and his glasses case in his pocket

Because of that, the bullet was stunted just enough that it only made it to the president’s rib cage So unbelievably, Teddy gave his speech anyway, for a whole 84 minutes at that, while a bullet was quite literally inside of him That STILL wasn’t enough to win him the election though 8 Pope John Paul II You’ve probably seen how the head of the catholic church tends to travel in ‘popemobiles’ surrounded by bulletproof glass

Well, that’s not just out of caution That glass came as a direct result of an attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II In 1981, a Turkish far-right terrorist by the name of Mehmet Ali Ağca [Aja] took two close range shots at the Pope, coming close to killing him but ultimately failing But in true papal fashion, John Paul II publically forgave his attacker, visiting him in prison and even exchanging letters years later But even stranger, it’s widely believed that the shooting was orchestrated by the Soviet Union via the Turkish Mafia

You see, the first Polish pope was a vocal supporter of Solidarity, the trade union movement that threatened to topple soviet rule of Poland However, Soviet secrecy, Agca’s history of perjury and inconsistent testimonies makes that hard to conclusively prove 7 Bob Marley In 1976, Jamaica was in an official state of emergency and there was widespread violence ahead of its general election At least 15 politically motivated murders occurred during the campaign

Enter Bob Marley The legendary reggae artist had announced the Smile Jamaica concert for December 5th, but intended to pretty much stay out of the election Unfortunately for him, the incumbent People’s National Party scheduled the election just days after, which gave off some ‘government stooge’ vibes Just two days before the concert, three gunmen showed up at Marley’s home and sprayed bullets across the room Luckily no one died, but Marley did get hit in the shoulder and another was hit in the groin

Ouch The wouldbe killers were never found, but some have speculated on links to the right-leaning opposition Jamaica Labour Party and even to the CIA, due to cold war tensions 6 Adolf Hitler You’d think that history’s most famous dictator would have had a pretty tight grip on his country, considering the sheer breadth of coercion and spying throughout Nazi Germany But in reality, there were at least fifteen attempts on the Fuhrer’s life

In the most famous one in 1944, which was also the closest to success, a group of military and aristocratic figures banded together to enact Operation Valkyrie That was the contingency plan in place to continue the German regime in case of emergency The idea was to assassinate Hitler with exploding briefcases under his desk, then blame it on a coup within the Nazi Party In the ensuing chaos, the military could disarm the SS, take control of the government and negotiate an Armistice with the allies But that plot failed when a briefcase was moved and the blast was deflected away from Hitler

The coup was still attempted but was quickly quashed and its members executed Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Cambridge University Library 5 Barack Obama It shouldn’t be surprising that Obama’s on this list If a president as conventional as Gerald Ford could get two in the same month, then it seems inevitable that the first person of colour to reach the highest office in the land would be targeted by dangerous fringe elements But what’s depressing is the sheer amount of danger he faced

Obama received a number of high profile threats per year during his presidency, as well as multiple actual plots, including a Ricin envelope and gunshots fired directly at the White House In one case in 2013, a KKK member named Glendon Scott Crawford was arrested when the community alerted the Secret Service of his plot to kill the president with a radiological dispersal device, which he called “Hiroshima on a Light Switch” This so-called “death ray” sounds like a crackpot scheme, but the prosecution assured courts that it was very real and very deadly 4 Vladimir Putin Russian president Vladimir Putin is well known for being worried about people trying to take him out

According to Russian officials, he was obsessed with the tape of Muammar Gaddafi’s death He even spoke to filmmaker Oliver Stone about escaping assassination attempts One of those allegedly came from Adam Osmayev, a Chechen man known for fighting against the Russian military incursions in Ukraine He was arrested in 2012 after a bomb accidentally exploded in the Ukrainian town of Odessa Though given Russia’s penchant for… let’s say, unconventional politics, it’s worth taking those allegations with a pinch of salt

In any case, Osmayev saw two separate retaliatory assassination attempts in 2017, once from a man posing as a French journalist and another when assailants fired on his car near Kiev He survived both but his wife Amina was killed in the second 3 Donald Trump Since his inauguration in 2017, President Donald Trump has presided over some of the most remarkable political proceedings in living memory But there was a moment where it looked like things may have been radically different

At a rally in June 2016, 20 year old British citizen Michael Sandford approached a police officer saying he wanted Trump’s autograph, then tried to steal his handgun to take a shot That plan went awry when the gun got stuck in the holster and he was easily apprehended Sandford had supposedly been planning the assassination attempt for a year and told authorities he expected to die He was sentenced to one year in prison and released to the UK after 5 months, on account of his asperger’s syndrome and other mental disorders It’s believed that he was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time and he told the court he had no memory of the event

2 JFK Okay, I know what you’re about to say JFK’s assassination was very successful, since well, he was assassinated I’m actually talking about 3 years earlier In December 1960, a New Hampshire postal worker by the name of Richard Pavlick was arrested over a plot to blow up the president with a buick full of dynamite

You see, Pavlick was profoundly anti-catholic and he had a history of mental illness So between JFK’s catholicism and his wealth, the would-be assassin saw it has his duty to prove that America “wasn’t for sale” But Pavlick’s plan ultimately failed because he made the mistake of letting his POTUS-cidal plans slip in angry letters As a result, the Secret Service arrested him when he was coincidentally stopped for a traffic offense 1

Fidel Castro According to his security team, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro survived a whopping 634 assassination attempts You’ve probably heard of some of them, like the exploding cigar and the poisoned ice cream, but the most interesting might be the case of Marita Lorenz The German-born woman met Castro when he boarded her ship in Havana in 1959 From there they started a 7 month affair, with Lorenz saying Castro was a “good smoocher” who liked to “hug and hold hands” That’d be cute if it wasn’t for all the human rights abuses

But Lorenz turned against Castro after her pregnancy was unknowingly terminated, so she was recruited by the CIA to assassinate her former lover with botulism pills She was sent to poison his drink but says she was unsure and changed her mind on arrival Just as well, since she ruined the pills by storing them in cold cream And even though he knew what was going on, the two still made love That was 10 Foiled Assassination Attempts

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