The war on terror took a shocking twist yesterday when it emerged that Osama bin Laden has finally been captured in America.
The US Department of Defence confirmed yesterday that troops have surrounded the terror chief's lair in South Dakota and were poised to take him into custody. However, in a bizarre twist sources revealed that bin Laden has - in fact - been hiding in the right nostril of Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore for some time.
Reports suggest the elaborate mechanism that hoisted the worlds most wanted up into the bridge of Lincoln's nose - and out of harm's way when the monument is pressure-washed - failed, trapping him in a space no larger than the average domestic elevator.
It is believed movie moguls created the tiny hideaway, which apparently leads to a warren of caves within the mountain itself, in the 1960s for a kids' adventure movie that was eventually scrapped. The mountain lair has remained closed off since - opening only once more in 1985 as a holistic retreat for singer Michael Jackson and his monkey pal Bubbles.
The whistle was eventually blown on Bin Laden's secret lair by 38 year-old hero Jack Patago. He was one of a large team of workers from Karcher USA tasked with removing algae, moss and other organic stains from the monument to help prevent bio-corrosion.
In an exclusive interview with Spoof on the eve of his top-secret meeting with President George Bush at an undisclosed Washington address, Patago recalled how he came face to face with the man himself just before dusk last Friday.
"I was almost finished cleaning Lincoln's nose when I noticed what appeared to be a large crack materialising in the right nostril. We were told to keen an eye out for any emerging defects so I probed further but when I touched the crack it sprung open and revealed a large gaping hole. It was very dark but I could see him (bin Laden) cowering away towards the back of the tiny makeshift cave - once I saw those eyes I knew there could be no mistake."
Former champion weightlifter Patago immediately called his foreman Ernie Granger, working nearby on Washington's upper lip, to call local police and report the historical capture. He told how bin Laden appeared "beaten" when confronted by him and several colleagues, who abseiled in to pelt the terror leader with pungent algae they'd collected. The team cornered the scheming terror chief for over an hour and a half until reinforcements arrived.
Patago added: "This guy has led us all a merry dance since the atrocities of 9/11 and all the time he's been using our beloved national monument as a hiding place - it's tantamount to sacrilege - I can't wait to see him get what's coming to him."
In the past, the search for bin Laden had focused on remote areas on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. However, after more than two years of battling remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban, Pakistan eventually ended its military operation in the border province of South Waziristan in November 2004 without finding bin Laden. Bin Laden continued to evade coalition forces during the U.S-led war in Afghanistan in 2001, surfacing since then only in audiotaped and videotaped messages.
Now, however, his luck has finally run out thanks to the vigilance of Patago and his colleagues.
A White House spokesman said: "On behalf of President George W Bush, the American people and indeed the wider global community we thank Mr Patago for his courage in the face of terror. We believe it is ironic - if not poetic - that one of the world's worst terrorist masterminds known to mankind was eventually blown out of the nose of our beloved Abraham Lincoln. May his handkerchief remain stain free from this day forth."
Patago, along with Karcher colleagues present on the day of the capture, will be presented with medals for bravery at the White House in a glittering ceremony this October. They will also be presented with a bumper family pass offering unlimited access to any national monument in America until 2008.