Intrigue over Gary Faulkner’s one-man hunt for Osama bin Laden has sparked both outrage and praise on the internet and blogosphere.
Pakistani authorities announced this week that they had picked up the 50-year-old Colorado man near the border with Afghanistan. Armed with a pistol, sword, night-vision equipment and Christian literature, Faulkner told police that he had been hunting bin Laden since the September, 11, 2001 attacks.
Some have dismissed him as mentally unstable, which his brother, a physician, has denied.
But others have lauded his attempt to do what the U.S. government has failed to do for nearly a decade: find the head of al Qaeda, which carried out the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Faulkner’s exploits have inspired a slew of nicknames on Twitter and Facebook, including Rambo, American Ninja and the new Chuck Norris.
He’s even been turned into an animated character on YouTube.
A Twitter post suggested Faulkner should face off against another daunting foe: the BP oil spill.
“Ask #GaryFaulkner to swim to the sea floor and plug the hole with his fist,” @HerbCarmen posted.
Faulkner’s family is taking it all in stride.
“I do like American ninja, that is pretty cool,” Scott Faulkner said
He said he believed his brother’s mission has tapped into an element of American society.
“It’s true Americana. We all fall in love with Chuck Norris, we fall in love with Clint Eastwood, We fall in love with John Wayne,” Scott Faulkner said. “Why? Because they fight for the American way. They find the bad guy, they may get roughed up a little bit, knocked in the dirt but at the end of the day they come out on top.”
But not all of the internet chatter has been favorable. “Looney Christian warrior” pops up a lot. Scott Faulkner admits his brother’s plan is not something he would attempt, but he insists that Gary is perfectly sane.
“Having known Gary for 43 years I can honestly say he’s not a sociopath, he’s not psychotic, he’s not crazy. He hasn’t harmed anyone.” Faulkner said. “He is an American hero.”
He predicts that Gary will enjoy the media attention when he returns to the United States and suggests who should play the lead role if his brother’s his story ever becomes a movie:
“Jackie Chan with a wig,” Faulkner said. “He’s got the sense of humor and the physical ability.”