Handing himself in at the US air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, bin Laden made the following statement:
For years we have fought to overthrow the Western world order, destroy the liberal capitalist conspiracy of crusaders, Jews and atheists, and establish a global caliphate in which decent, peace-loving Muslims can safely cover women in tarpaulins and then throw rocks at them until nobody wants to rape them. But no more.
On hearing of Pastor Terry Jones’s ingenious, terrifying plan to burn copies of the Qur’an this Sunday, I knew that we could no longer face the horrors of this jihad. I therefore announce the immediate and unconditional surrender of all al-Qaeda operatives worldwide.
Furthermore, while anticipating the pain that the burning of the holiest of all books would cause us, I have had occasion to reflect upon the suffering that we have inflicted upon others on the past. It has been an eye-opening and saddening experience.
I deeply regret any offence that may have resulted from our long campaign of mass murder.
From now on, all former al-Qaeda funds will be used, through the Osama bin Laden Faith Foundation, to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world.
Pastor Jones, this afternoon appointed as US Defence Secretary, was too busy receiving the Nobel Peace Prize to comment.