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.