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. Patrick

    How about this? If the reward has to go to somebody at all, split it up amongst the SEALs who risked their lives and actually ran the operation to take him out? They make 50 thousand a year to run operations like this. Why not a nice year end bonus for the guys who risked their lives?

    May 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sheilamills

    He should be given enough to cover his travel and living expenses while he was in Afghanistan and Pakistant. The rest of the money should be placed in trust for the Seals, CIA agents and other personnel who worked the case starting from last August.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. screech

    I flipped through the channels on my t v almost every night looking for bin laden. I want some reward money. Oh yeah, I found santa tooo.

    May 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    What he did is justice , and he should be rewarded for what he did , and he should be cited for his heroism , for killing a crazy insane killer , some one that loves to murder for no reason at all , he lived to murder for the fun of it , and he didn't care who it was that he killed , he wass a coword , he was afraid of hios own shadow, I'm really glad that the rat came out of his hole , and got poped , he deserved it , so I think that Joe should get a reward and get a medal pinned on his chest , because he did what no one else was able to do .

    May 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff CO

      Bob, are you from this planet?

      May 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Medellino

      Bob, when you do drugs, you should not be typing comments. Just a suggestion.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WFD

    This fellow must have found the poppy farms!

    May 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robert

    This WHACK JOB shouldn't get one red cent. BEER BLAST for DEVGRU and anyone they want to bring! Spend it on THAT!

    May 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Regnad Kcin

    No.

    May 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. the_dude

    This guy was awsome as young darth vader in the star wars movie series.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I don't think this kind of behavior should be encouraged at all, even as a joke – which I hope is what this article was meant as.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. peterfrknpan

    What? ? I flushed him out. Yeah. That's the ticket I did that. What a maroon. Like spaulding. He'll get nothing and like it

    May 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      What's maroon???? if you mean a moron then you might know what you are talking about...

      May 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ella Jay

    no matter the subject, there's always a bu#load of crazy in the comments section.

    no, i don't think the guy flushed him out.

    i think pakistan was complicit and not completely in the dark as to bin laden's location. but then we've had a fractious relationship with pakistan for some time, at least the last few years. they got some 'splainin to do.

    since pakistan has now taken the righteously offended stance, i believe they've proven their complicity. if they were innocent of his locale, they would have offered to work with the US to find out who the internal bin laden supporters were.

    i, like many pacifist american citizens have uncharacteristically wished for this man's death for almost 10 years now. may the 9/11 victims and their families rest a bit more peacefully now.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. post-it

    just figures that this covetous idiot is a bible thumper...

    May 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • lauren

      well thats a hasty generalization. stop being so ignorant

      May 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paininyourbut

      Romans 12: 14

      May 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jim

    prove you killed him wheres the evidence ?????buried at sea with in hours and not mentioning who the so called hero trigger man is i think obamas pulling this to raise his failure ratings i dont belive a thing they say at all sure hes dead but as one afghan soldier who knew obl personally he was blown to smitheriness in late 2001 why would hundreds of packistans call ameriacns liars????as they too know he was killed years ago id have to see it for my self to belive a liar like obama just my oopinion until the trigger mans teps forward which he wont as he doesnt exist or if he does hes paid well id have to see bin laddins dead body myself our gov is notorious for lying to raise their crappy ratings and belive me obamas aloooser with a F minus on ther job, sure they may have killed someone but i dont belive a word they say

    May 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emm Ell

      I'm pretty sure you spell worse than Bin Laden

      May 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory

      Jim, Donald Trump and Sara Palin called, they want you to be their spokesman

      Ya... he died years ago so the Taliban and all his family are all upset about what exactly?

      cool story bro

      May 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      Idiot deather.

      May 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Skidder

    Donald Trump wannabe. Honestly, I'm surprise Trump hasn't tried to claim the reward saying he somehow flushed OBL out.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. jackson

    CNN comment section: my daily dose of laughter and proof that idiocy is alive and well.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ANIL MATHEW

    Faulkner is a free loader. Everybody in India knew that Osama would be close to, or even inside, Islamabad. Diplomatic area, Islamabad and posh Clifton Road, Karachi are the two places where most of the internationally wanted high-profile criminals provided safe havens in Pakistan.

    The only ones who believed the obvious Paki lies were the Americans.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
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