Prime Minister Gordon Brown is this morning considering giving his election campaign a boost by claiming a victory in the war against terror and using little known legislation to have Osama Bin Laden declared legally dead.
It is now more than seven years since a verifiable sighting of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, and as such Brown is well within his rights to have him declared ‘dead in absentia’.
A Labour spokesperson said, “After last night’s televised debate, what we need is a big win, and they don’t come much bigger than having Osama Bin Laden dead. In the legal sense of the word.”
“Okay, we might not have Osama’s head on a stick to parade to the world’s media, but standing in front of Number 10 holding a death certificate with Osama’s name on it would make a nice photo call, don’t you think?”
“I admit, this is a legal manoeuvre usually employed by the families of missing persons to help settle estates and inheritances, but it’s equally applicable in the war against terror. Definitely.”
An move to declare Bin Laden dead is likely to meet fierce opposition from Al Qaeda sympathisers, something Labour is fully prepared for.
“Sure, they might cry ‘foul’ – but we would have a piece of paper here showing that he has definitely and properly died a death according to the legal laws of the land.”
“Then we could take him off all the wanted lists, and stop talking about him in the press. Which would also help.”
Terrorism experts remain sceptical, but admit it’s a tactic that might just work, with one senior officer saying, “It’s a bit like the really annoying kid from when you were at school, if everyone ignores him – or pretends he’s dead – he’ll go away all on his own. Right?”
“Look, unless someone comes forward today with some credible evidence that he is alive, we will close the file on him and break open the champagne.”