The text of Osama bin Laden’s letter as translated by Al Jazeera:
Dear Peoples of the World,
I confess to you, the peoples of the world, that I am sorry from my heart for the troubles, pain and fear that I have commanded. In 30 days, God willing, I will turn myself over to the custody of the United Nations and submit myself to an international court for trial and judgment of my crimes and sins.
I thank my friends and supporters in Pakistan for their gracious hospitality, protection and sympathy. They cared for me like a generous family that cares for an orphan. Thank you, Pakistan. Thank you for taking in this dangerous and desperate orphan.
My greatest crime against humanity was to proudly embrace the unfortunate opportunity to encourage the hearts of Muslims by shaking the West. That opportunity came in my claiming complete responsibility for 9-11. Al-Qaeda had nothing to do with 9-11.
Islamic peoples reveled in their arrogant fiction that what they so admired, envied, and feared could be struck at without consequences. The consequences, however, need not be bombs falling from the sky. There are other ways for our hopes and dreams to be torn from our hearts – not to mention the consequences from above.
Worse, we have lost Islam. For in our desperation to destroy those peoples which we envy, we have forsaken Allah and history for idols. Make no mistake, it is envy that often stirs men to do terrible things against other men. Remember Cain and Able.
The KGB and others have suggested to me that it was a Mossad operation intending to galvanize international support for Israel’s continued role in the Middle East as the first defense against so-called Islamic radicalism. Frankly, thinking out of the box has never been an Arab strong point.
I was mistaken to think that the path to freedom for Islamic peoples was by violent confrontation with the West. I believed that such a confrontation would create a solidarity that would fuel a renaissance in Islamic civilization. I see now that freedom, democracy and culture can only prevail when the people rise against those Tyrants who constantly deprive them of their rights, dignity and freedom.
I was mistaken to hate the West when it was the enemy within (our own home-grown tyranny and corruption) that have repressed our Islamic civilization and reduced it to the angry dust that gathers in our sandals and shoes.
The lesson of Tahrir square is that violence is not necessary to liberate Muslim from another Muslim, man from another man. Prayers are stronger than bullets. And no bomb can achieve what a million prayers can achieve.
I was mistaken. May God forgive me for the innocents that have died by my works. Hope cannot be bought with human sacrifices. Hope cannot be purchased with the blood that cries out to heaven.
Forgive me, I am a man of many mistakes, regrets, and unfathomable self-disappointment.
In a few hours, I will release to Wikileaks 1000+ documents that identify agents, officials and businessmen by name and picture that have collaborated with Al-Qaeda. This includes Americans, Argentinians, Brits, Cubans, Chinese, French, Germans, Italians, Persians, Japanese, Russians, and Syrians. Among those documents include communiques, financial transactions, and intelligence collected by Al-Qaeda for the last 20 years.
Wikileaks rocks! The truth will change the world.
I ask you, the peoples of the world, for forgiveness, but I do not ask you to suspend judgment. I ask you to set an example of justice, to leave no stone unturned – even those stones that you will be reluctant to turn over. Together we will set the record straight. Just like it happens in the movie, American Gangster.
Justice shall be served like a feast.
My heart goes out to you in the world who suffer, who are hungry, and who thirst. My heart goes out to the poor, the sick, and the dying.
I am sorry for what I have done and I wish (with all my heart) to change my ways with God’s help. May the Prophet bless me!
Peace be with you!
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden
1 May 2011
How much different would the world be – if men who are called leaders acted as leaders do?
Imagine how a letter like this could have changed the whole world in a day. For the better.
2 May 2011