How close did bin Laden hunter get?
Gary Faulkner went to Pakistan to hunt for Osama bin Laden last year. Now he reportedly wants some of the $25 million reward.
May 4th, 2011
03:27 PM ET

How close did bin Laden hunter get?

Last June an American construction worker was picked up in Pakistan on a one-man mission to capture Osama bin Laden.

Gary Faulkner was armed with a dagger, some biblical literature, a pistol, night-vision goggles and a sword, news reports said.

What's more, the man was even on dialysis, CNN reported at the time. And yet somehow he managed to end up in Chitral, a mountainous district in the northern tip of the country.

Chitral  was as logical a place as any to hunt for the most wanted terrorist in the world. News reports in the years since the 9/11 attacks had put bin Laden in fortress-like environs along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Chitral fit the bill. It was connected to the rest of the country by a strip of land so treacherous that it is often closed because of weather conditions.

On Sunday night, Americans received news that bin Laden was killed in his compound in Abbottabad, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

How far off was Faulkner, whose across-the-world trek still remains shrouded in mystery?

Chitral to Abbottabad is roughly about 300 miles, according to Google Maps technology, indicating about a "7-hour" drive.  Yeah right. To put the distance in perspective, according to Google, the two places are about the same distance as Atlanta, Georgia, to the Florida Panhandle.

Of course, much of the Pakistan route is undriveable because of foothills and mountains. The area is also said to be inhabited by fiercely independent tribes.

While Faulkner has talked to CNN in depth much of the details about his trip remain secret. What we do know is that he wants some of the $25 million reward money that was offered for bin Laden's kill or capture.

"I scared the squirrel out of his hole, he popped his head up and he got capped," Faulkner told ABC News this week, referring to bin Laden's death. "[U.S. officials] were handed this opportunity on a platter from myself," he was quoted as saying.

Faulkner also told ABC that assertions that bin Laden had been holed up in his compound in Abbottabad for more than half a decade were not true.

"He hadn't been living there for no damn six years," he told ABC. "I absolutely flushed him out."

Should Faulkner get a portion of the reward?

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Osama bin Laden • September 11 • Terrorism
soundoff (1,046 Responses)
  1. Peter

    He should 'get' a nice padded cell and 3 square meals a day until certified not a danger to himself or others. 😀

    May 5, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jobu

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jobu

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LOL.....that was cute, precious, and unforgettable.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Larch

    Good Job Gary, if you really want the money, write a book of your experience flushing out bin Laden...

    May 5, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. FANDANGO

    I know termites come out of the woodwork and now I believe these reality shows are the source of these maggots. What they won't do for 5 seconds of "fame." Just look at that face and you know there is no one home behind those eyes. Reward? LOL, yeah, you get a reward, 30 years in a padded cell.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew

    Well, I'd give him an A for effort, but that's about it. He wasn't really that close. If he was at least able to pin down the town that he was in, then sure I guess I might have given something, but to say that bin Laden moved because he was scared of one knife wielding lunatic is stupid.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. absolutely

    He should definitely get the reward... He did so much that it was because of him osama got killed. His contribution definitely deserves the 25 Mil, in MONOPOLY money....

    May 5, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. ash

    idiot

    May 5, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      agreed

      May 5, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jaygee

      They are doing some great work at local mental health facilities so I suggest this guy check himself in and quickly.

      May 5, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. GaryB

    Does this guy's delusions of grandeur remind anyone else of Donald Trump?

    May 5, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Ayv binFhartin

      Yep... I'm surprised Trump didn't take credit by saying he 'pressured' Obama into the raid.

      May 5, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    Flushed him out? HA! Made it harder to catch him as he was rolling on the floor laughing like the Madman he was after he heard of this Whackjob wandering around the boonies looking for him.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. JJ

    The bigger question is why CNN dedicates any time or space to this nimrod. Don't you people have more important things to do?

    May 5, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Well, CNN was created with the question of 'how do we fill up 24 hours of news, when most stations only have 1 or 2?'.. and they have kept the tradition alive....

      May 5, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • IDC

      JJ is absolutely correct.

      May 5, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      No big deal...I like reading about the nuts who make life a bit more colorful.
      WHAT AN IDIOT!
      Now on a more serious note; unless you've worked as a writer,reporter or editor, I can't see why your opinion means much to CNN.

      May 5, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. jon

    I want my little bit too, I never once saw Osama anywhere near my house and there are some really tough hills to climb in North Carolina.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I want my share too. I never saw him in West Virginia and we have Mountains he could have hid in. Guess he was afraid of me too.

      May 5, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Is this the same guy that wanted rewards for finding Elvis and Mary Poppins?

    May 5, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mcdonnel

      They found Mary Poppins? That's super-cala-fra . . .

      May 5, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. harry

    Pay Him? Heck, I'd take his dialysis away!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Funny

    I think he looking for money to find Bin Laden too bad hes not the 1 soo lucky ^^ if u find gold is yours if u dont NOO!!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
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