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. Kt

    Um, can anyone else say "pathetic loser losing to take something that he doesn't have any right to?" The only thing worse than this moron trying to get free money is the fact that CNN would even bother with this nonsense. Im sure there are more interesting (and more deserving) nut jobs out there to interview!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    Where's my share? Osama was NOT in Oklahoma, because he was a skeered of me.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Clint

    Obviously someone got hold of some poppy seeds on their trek halfway around the world... This guy must still be high!! LOL!!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elizabeth

    He needs proof that OBL was actually anywhere near Chitral. Is there another compound there? I don't think that the likes of OBL with armed guards would be afraid of one man in any case. If he were near OBL, he would have been killed. If OBL was flushed out, then it was still the SEALs who got OBL. He had no intel about the couriers; he didn't know where OBL would go next; no way should he get the money.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Luis

    How is this news??? This "bounty hunter" is such a pompous, arrogant ass that he's not even worth 5 minutes of my time. Talk about delusions of grandeur and pretentiousness.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    Hold on.. wait a minute. Look at the picture again. Uh huh. That guy is DEFINITELY Bin Laden without his turban.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shawn

    Didn't he spend some time in prison for selling bongs? Oh wait I guess that's not who I thought it was...man he looks just like hime though....

    May 5, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chalie

    No fair...I was on the same planet as Osama...I should get part of the reward too (sarcasm).

    "Gary Faulkner was armed with a dagger, some biblical literature, a pistol, night-vision goggles and a sword." Are you serious? This guy's a nut.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne.

      SEAL TEAM 6 – Helmet Cam. Training for the mission. 2 of 3

      youtube. com/watch?v=XOEC2rLuZk0 .

      May 5, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. bizzle

    More dribble on CNN, WHY IS THIS NEWSWORTHY

    May 5, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gallagher

    This guy was so close................. And the conservatives will give Obama unvarnished credit.............yeah, right

    May 5, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Babar

      Obama will have to return his Peace Prize, but he'll get the $25 million to add to his "stash" that he uses to pay the po' folks mortgages and buy gas for their cars.

      May 5, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dillon

    CNN, this story is shameful. There are only two reasons to have possibly run it. The first is that this mentally ill person is just a joke to you, and you are pointing him out so that people can laugh at him, which is bad enough. The second, is that you were actually serious when posing your rhetorical question at the end there by suggesting that he should get a piece of the reward. I'd rather just give everyone in the armed services a bonus.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • GaryGuitar

      Dillon, your point is well taken. You got me thinking. Why in the hell did they run this story?

      May 5, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. T in Dallas

    Is this the guy Trump sent to Hawaii on the birth certificate investigation?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. William

    I told everyone I know that Bin Laden was in Pakistan. I deserve some of that money too!

    May 5, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Why is this even on CNN? Seriously. How is this man's craziness news? When did CNN become the rumor, celebrity, and crazy people network?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    SHAME ON YOU CNN. Your disgrace yourselves. WHY IS THIS NEWS?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason Quill

      Investigate it. you are reporters after all.

      May 5, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
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