Al Qaeda has announced that it has made an offer to buy the troubled bank Northern Rock.
In a statement made through grainy video footage, Osama Bin Laden said: "This is a very exciting new departure for us. Previously we have had to rely on connecting with people through a few well planned, high profile events. Mortgages will enable us to reach thousands more people and cause misery on a daily basis"
Bin Laden made no secret that he was excited about the opportunities the network of high street branches offered. "Up until now we have relied on the networking and franchising business model - leaving it up to individual extremists and jihadists to develop their activity locally. With a presence on the high street we will be able to consolidate the brand."
Asked about the offer, Alasdair Darling said: "Given the mess the bankers have got the world's economy into, we rather think Al Qaeda is quite a good bet."