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Germany detains ‘Bin Laden’s bodyguard’ – months after it emerged he lived there on social benefits

The Tunisian man, whose identity has been withheld by the newspaper citing privacy reasons, has been receiving €1,168 monthly in welfare payments by the German state for 21 years

German authorities are working to deport a man who allegedly worked as Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard and then lived in Germany on social benefits – almost two months after reports about the man hit the news.

Identified only as Sami A., the Tunisian man has been living in the western German town of Bochum. Police detained him on Monday, German media reported, citing local officials. The arrest took place after the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) lifted a ban on his deportation, a spokesman for the Bochum city authorities said.

The German authorities are now expected to deport the Tunisian man to his country of origin. The necessary documents are now being prepared by a local visa and registration department, according to the spokesman. The man has been placed under arrest.

The move has been backed by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who has recently taken a particularly tough stance on migration and asylum. “The BAMF has now initiated the deportation procedure against the former Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard. I have instructed the BAMF to treat his case as a high priority matter,” the minister told the German Bild daily, adding that he would be “closely following” this case.

Sami A. hit the news in late April when German media reported that the man, who had reportedly been suspected of being a bodyguard for 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden for a number of months, lives in Germany on social benefits. In fact, he has been living in Bochum since 1997 and collecting benefits to the tune of €1,168 a month for himself, his wife and three children.


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