The act of the 30-year-old reporter during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned him into a folk hero across the Arab world amid anger over the 2003 invasion.

The incident, which took place on December 14, embarrassed Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, who was standing next to Bush at the time during a joint news conference.

Neither leader was injured, but Bush was forced to duck for cover as the journalist shouted in Arabic: "This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."