The German government has been giving a man once believed to be Osama bin Laden’s body guard a $1,400 monthly welfare payments, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“Sami A.,” a 42-year-old man who reportedly trained in one of bin Laden’s terrorist camp, is receiving about $1,429 a month in welfare payments. German officials are withholding his real name due to privacy law stipulations. He has lived in Germany since 1997.
He has repeatedly denied being connected to al-Qaeda, but courts consider him a fellow traveler with the group. Sami A.’s asylum request was denied ten years ago after a court in Münster called him “an acute and considerable danger for public security.”
News of Sami A.’s welfare payments came to light after the government of North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed it to the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), a right-wing group opposed to many of Germany’s loose immigration policies.
“What fate awaits Sami A. in Tunisia is not the problem of German taxpayers,” AfD said in a press statement Tuesday. “To protect and financially equip an Islamist, to feed hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants while less and less remains for our own people is not acceptable, but it suits [Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s [vision for] Germany.”
AfD was created partially as a response to Germany’s lax rules governing immigration.
One report released in August 2017 shows the number of people who were either born to foreign parents or are immigrants themselves reached 18.6 million in 2016. The figure, which makes up 22.5 percent of the total population, is the highest since the agency started recording demographic levels in 2005.
The increase is largely attributed to the migrant crisis, which has brought more than one million people to Germany over the past two years. Citizens of other European countries still make up the largest source of immigration in the country. About half of those with an immigrant background, 52 percent, have German citizenship.
The number of people with roots in the Middle East has gone up 51 percent since 2011 and now stands at 2.3 million. People with African heritage has increased 46 percent during the same time span to reach 740,000.
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