Osama Bin Laden's Alleged Bodyguard Collecting Welfare Checks in Germany

Bin Laden
Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden speaks at a news conference in Afghanistan in this May 26, 1998 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer/Files JIR/DL

The alleged former bodyguard of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden has been found collecting welfare checks from the government in Germany, according to local media, because he cannot be deported—even though he was refused asylum status.

A report in the German tabloid Bild said the man, named only as 42-year-old Sami A to protect his privacy, cannot be deported to his native Tunisia because he is at risk of torture there. He has lived in Germany since 1997 and has a wife and three children.

Sami A collects around $1,430 a month in welfare from the German government, a figure revealed after the far-right political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) asked questions of the local authority where he lives in Bochum, near the Dutch border.

He was accused by witnesses in a terrorism trial back in 2005 of having been Bin Laden's bodyguard near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a few months at the turn of the millennium, something the judge said he believed to be true, though Sami A denies it.

German authorities regard Sami A as a "dangerous preacher," reported Spiegel Online in 2012, and prosecutors say he was responsible for the radicalization of two men who later former part of a terror cell caught planning a bomb attack.

Though considered a security risk, no charges of Al Qaeda membership have so far been brought against Sami A. He must report every day to the police in Bochum, which he has done so since 2006. He was refused asylum status because of the security concerns, the BBC reported.

A team of US Navy SEALs in 2011 killed Bin Laden in an operation at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after his whereabouts was discovered by American intelligence.

Bin Laden founded the terror group Al Qaeda and orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, which killed 2,996 people and 19 terrorists. He was the most wanted man in the world until his death.