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Alleged former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden 'living on German welfare' after courts reject deportation

24 Apr 2018 The Daily Telegraph

An alleged former al-Qaeda bodyguard for Osama bin Laden is living on benefits in Germany, it has emerged.

The 42-year-old, named only as Sami A under German privacy laws, is under surveillance as a potential terror threat and has to report to police daily.

But he cannot be deported from Germany after a court ruled he would be at risk of torture in his native Tunisia.

He and his family receive over €1100 (£960) a month in benefits from the local government in the western town of Bochum, where they live.

Because he is subject to a deportation order he is not allowed to work in Germany and has to be supported by the state.

Local authorities have repeatedly sought to have him deported but their applications have been rejected by the courts.

Details of the case emerged in an answer to a written question in the North Rhine Westphalia regional parliament by the nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD). 

“German asylum law is being shamelessly exploited here,” Eckhardt Rehberg of Angela Merkel’s Christians Democrat party (CDU) said. “We have to support a terrorist with taxpayers’ money because we can not deport him. I cannot understand these decisions by the courts.”

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel 

Credit:

Anadolu

Sami A lives in Bochum with his wife and four children aged between 4 and 11. He came to Germany in 1997 as a 21-year-old student. 

The German courts have found that between 1999 and 2000 he travelled to an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan where he became a bodyguard for bin Laden. 

Sami A denies any links to Al-Qaeda and bin Laden, and attempts to prosecute him in Germany have failed. But he has been described in a court ruling as a “significant and acute threat to public safety”.

However the courts issued a final ruling last year that he cannot be deported to Tunisia because he would be “likely to face torture, inhuman or degrading treatment” there.

“There do not appear to be other countries willing or able to take Sami A,” the North Rhine Westphalia regional government said in a statement.

Original Link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/24/alleged-former-bodyguard-osama-bin-laden-living-german-welfare/

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