A Tunisian man who was allegedly once a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden is living on benefits in Germany, sparking major criticism from anti-immigration politicians.
The information was revealed following a question posed to the regional government in Bochum, where the 42 year old lives, by the Alternative for Germany (AfD). According to a report in German tabloid Bild, Sami A, whose identity cannot be revealed to protect his privacy, collects benefits to the tune of €1,168 a month for himself, his wife and three children.
Sami A has reportedly lived in Germany since 1997. During a 2005 terrorism trial in Germany he was accused of being a bodyguard for 9/11 mastermind Bin Laden for a number of months in 2000.
The Tunisian denied the accusation, however, the judge said at the time he believed witness testimony that suggested he was Bin Laden’s bodyguard. According to Der Spiegel, German authorities believe Sami A to be a dangerous preacher, however he cannot be deported to his native Tunisia over fears he will be tortured.
Due to security fears Sami A must report daily to the local police station, something he has done everyday since 2006.
The AfD were quick to take advantage of the scandal, saying: “What fate awaits Sami A. in Tunisia is not the problem of German taxpayers,” and that “to feed hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, while less and less remains for our own people is not acceptable.”
Support for the anti-immigrant party has risen sharply in Germany in recent years. The AfD entered the German parliament for the first time in its history following the last election.