bin laden hunter 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
ISLAMABAD — An American arrested in Pakistan was on an armed solo mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
Gary Brooks Faulkner was found late Sunday in a forest. "We initially laughed when he told us that he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden," senior police official Mumtaz Ahmad Khan said. But when officers found weapons, including a 40-inch sword and a pistol as well as night-vision equipment, "our suspicion grew."
Catching the al Qaeda chief was 50-year-old Faulkner's "passion," his
brother Scott Faulkner said Tuesday. A devout Christian with a prison
record, Faulkner has been to Pakistan at least six times, learned some
of the local language, and even grew a long beard to blend in, relatives
and acquaintances said.
The Greeley, Colorado, man arrived June 3 in the town of Bumburate and
stayed in a hotel there. He was assigned a police guard, as is common
for foreigners visiting remote parts of Pakistan. When he checked out
without informing the guard, officers began looking for him, senior
police official Mumtaz Ahmad Khan said.
Faulkner was trying to cross into the nearby Afghan region of Nuristan,
one of several rumored hiding places for bin Laden along the rugged
Faulkner's sister, Deanna M. Faulkner of Grand Junction, Colorado, said
her brother suffers from kidney disease that has left him with only 9
percent kidney function. "I'm worried about him. I'm worried that in
Pakistan they won't give him his dialysis and if he doesn't get it, he's
in serious trouble," she said.
US Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire said American officials were seeking
consular access to a US citizen in Pakistani custody and that once
given, they could help arrange for medical care.
Gary Faulkner retained vivid memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks and was serious but rational about his search, his brother Scott
said. When Scott Faulkner dropped his brother off at Denver's airport
May 30, the two discussed the possibility Faulkner would not return
"He's as normal as you and I," Scott Faulkner said. "He's just very
passionate, and, as a Christian, he felt, when Osama mocked this country
after 9/11, and it didn't feel like the military was doing enough, it
became his passion, his mission, to track down Osama, and kill him, or
bring him back alive."
Scott Faulkner said his brother sold all his tools to finance his trip
and was prepared to die in Pakistan. He said his brother took no weapons
and had a valid visa for Pakistan.
Gary Faulkner, who was being questioned in the main northwest city of
Peshawar, has not yet been charged with any crime in Pakistan. Khan
noted police confiscated a small amount of hashish, enough for a single
joint, from Faulkner.
The American was in and out of Colorado state prisons between 1981 and
1993, serving a total of about seven years in five separate stints for
burglary, larceny and parole violations, state officials said.
Bin Laden, who is also reported to have kidney problems, has evaded a
massive manhunt since Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States,
which he is accused of masterminding along with other attacks. The
federal government has offered a bounty of $25 million for information
leading to his capture.
Khan said when Faulkner was asked why he thought he could trace bin
Laden, he replied, "God is with me, and I am confident I will be
successful in killing him."