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Bin Laden Bodyguard Living on Welfare in Germany

Pakistani policemen stand in front of posters of Osama bin Laden. Many Pakistanis protested when the US killed bin Laden in Pakistan (Photo: ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani policemen stand in front of posters of Osama bin Laden. Many Pakistanis protested when the US killed bin Laden in Pakistan (Photo: ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

A Tunisian man living on welfare in Germany has been named as a body guard to Osama bin Laden.

He was identified by a witness who was deemed credible and believed by a German court during an anti-terror trial in 2005. Although he was investigated in 2006 for ties to al-Qaeda, he was never formally charged.

While deportation orders have been issued against him, the courts have rejected them, saying that there is a risk that the man — identified only as Sami A due to German privacy laws — would be tortured in his native country. No other countries are willing to take him.

Now 42, Sami A originally came to Germany in 1997 as a student. Between 1999 and 2000 he traveled to Afghanistan where he is believed to have become a bodyguard for bin Laden.

Now married and with four young children, Sami A collects over $1,400 a month in welfare. He is not allowed to work because he is still under the deportation order. His application for asylum was rejected in 2007 because he was considered a terror risk.

Sami A now lives in Bochum in Western Germany. He remains under surveillance as a potential terror threat and must report to the police daily.

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