A former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden is being supported to live free in Germany at a cost to taxpayers of more than £1,000 a month.
Although classified as dangerous and required to report to police every day, authorities say the man, known as Sami A, cannot be sent back to his Tunisian homeland because the risk that he would be tortured was too high.
A court in Münster branded Sami A, 42, as “an acute and considerable danger for public security”, and he had an asylum application rejected.
But a higher court has ruled that a deportation order cannot be carried out. Sami A came to Germany as a student in 1997.
He went to Afghanistan to train at a terror camp and became a bodyguard for Bin Laden, founder of al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in the US.
He was killed in Pakistan in May 2011 by US Navy special forces.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia pays €1,168 (£1,020) a month for Sami A, his wife and four children.
The figure was revealed in the regional parliament after a question was posed by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party.
Eckhardt Rehberg, of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU party, said: “German asylum law is being shamelessly exploited.”
A security source told local media: “That such a man is allowed to stay in Germany is a punch in the face to all anti-terror investigators. He protected the most wanted man in the world and we treat him with kid gloves.”
A ban on deportations to Tunisia was lifted two years ago but officials still feel that such a close ally of Bin Laden would be at risk of torture.