Pakistan holds American man hunting bin Laden

CHITRAL, Pakistan Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:31pm EDT

1 of 3. Gary Brooks Faulkner is pictured in these booking photos by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office in Port Collins, Colorado released to Reuters on June 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Larimer County Sheriff's Office/Handout

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CHITRAL, Pakistan (Reuters) - An American man accused of trying to sneak into Afghanistan to hunt down and kill al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden has been detained by authorities in Pakistan, police said on Tuesday.

Gary Faulkner was caught in the Brumboret Valley near the border of Afghanistan's Nuristan province carrying a dagger, pistol and night vision goggles and was being questioned in Peshawar, Chitral police chief Jaffer Khan said.

"He was roaming in the security zone in a suspicious manner. He had a dagger and night vision goggles with him. He is being investigated," Khan said.

An intelligence official in Chitral, who asked not to be identified, said when authorities approached Faulkner, he shouted: "Don't come closer to me or I'll open fire."

A brother of the detained man told a news conference in Colorado that Gary Faulkner was in Pakistan legally and had been there six times on a "mission" to kill bin Laden.

"He's not crazy, he's not a psychopath and he's not a sociopath," Scott Faulkner said. "He's a man on a mission and believes that God's got his back."

Mumtaz Ahmed, a senior police investigator, said Faulkner was hunting bin Laden because he suffered personal losses in the September 11 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants in 2001.

'DECAPITATE OSAMA BIN LADEN'

Scott Faulkner said his brother, who was born in California and has lived in Colorado since 1968, did not consider his mission a "religious jihad" but wanted to kill the al Qaeda leader because he considered him a bad person.

He said his brother, who works in construction, "loves adventure" and planned to collect reward money for killing bin Laden, which he would then use to help people in Central America.

"He's a normal person," Scott Faulkner said. "He has a job and he pays his bills. Having a sword in Pakistan is not against the law."

Scott Faulkner said his brother had found the entrance to caves in which he believed bin Laden was hiding. Western governments say they think the al Qaeda head is holed up in the mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Faulkner arrived in Chitral on June 3 and was staying in a local hotel, Ahmed said. Khan said he had visited Chitral seven times previously.

"He says that he is a kidney patient. He was also carrying medicines for kidney and blood pressure treatment," Ahmed said.

U.S. embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire said the Peshawar consulate had been informed of the arrest of a U.S. citizen and that the embassy was seeking access to the detained American.

Scott Faulkner said the embassy told him his brother was still being questioned by authorities in Pakistan.

The daily Dawn newspaper said Faulkner acknowledged to police he wanted to "decapitate Osama bin Laden."

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Comments (29)
k1057 wrote:
1) Many Americans don’t believe the gov’t did a good job trying to find Bin Laden as they did finding excuses to invade Iraq.

2) Many Americans suffered personal losses in the 9/11 attacks, but people forget that thousands were personally affected.

3) Only a matter of time till someone broke and decided to go it alone. (went crazy) Imagine your brother or wife died in the attacks? Put yourself in those shoes before you judge too harshly. How would you feel about the government’s response?

4) If you can’t find *some* pity for someone like this in your heart, you obviously don’t remember how horrible the 9/11 attacks were to Americans.

5) Get this guy some mental help, but please, Governments of the world, let’s get Bin Laden.

Jun 15, 2010 9:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Somebody’s got to. The CIA could’t find its butt with both hands, so I say let the guy go and see what he can do. I’d make a donation.

Jun 15, 2010 9:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MackSanDiego wrote:
Respect for warrior Gary Faulkner. He went in on his own with zero media coverage and, at this point, zero interest in attaining celebrity status. Had he accomplished his goal he would have been canonized. He is one part genius, one part patriot. So what if he was motivated by revenge. You can’t trust the media: at this point in this early of the game no one knows what his true motivation or game plan was. Was he demented? Who cares. It doesn’t matter if he was slightly bent cause we know that sometimes the best warrior is the worst soldier. Winston Churchill gives two thumbs up to Gary Faulkner. Good luck to you, Mr. Faulkner.

Jun 15, 2010 9:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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