Germany’s Dilemma in Dealing with Islamist Threats

The man thought to have once provided security for the world’s best-known terrorist is short and stocky — just 1.65 meters (5′ 5″) tall, as Sami A. told a journalist in an interview last year. “And I’m supposed to be dangerous?”

But that’s what the security authorities in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia believe. They paint a dark picture of the 40-year-old. They say he received terrorist training in Afghanistan and later served as one of Osama bin Laden’s guards. They also believe him to be a member of the radical Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat and a fundamentalist cleric who has persuaded young men to join the jihad. Two of his alleged protegés have already been prosecuted in Germany. In rejecting his asylum application, the Higher Administrative Court in Münster wrote in 2015 that Sami A. represents “a considerable threat to public safety.”

And yet, the Tunisian man continues living in Germany today.