In an internet statement, Al Qaeda confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden, reports Reuters and the Associated Press. The statement appeared on militant websites today pledging that bin Laden's blood "will not be wasted" and the terror network would continue waging jihad. “We stress that the blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is precious to us and to all Muslims and will not go in vain,” reads the statement, as reported by the AP. The news service says the message was signed by the "general leadership" of Al Qaeda and marks the first step to naming a successor to bin Laden, though its authenticity couldn't be independently verified. It's dated May 3 and is the first recognition of the Al Qaeda leader's death by the group since the raid on his compound Sunday. “We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries,” read the statement. It says Americans' "happiness will turn to sadness" and "their blood will be mingled with their tears."
Addressing the people of Pakistan, the group called on citizens to overthrow their government. “We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was killed, to rise up and revolt to cleanse this shame that has been attached to them by a clique of traitors and thieves … and in general to cleanse their country from the filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it,” according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. It also states that bin Laden recorded an audio tape one week before his death, which will be distributed soon.
RELATED: A Guide to Al Qaeda's 'Decline'
Photo by Getty Images