June 17th, 2010
02:16 PM ET

Bin Laden hunter's mission praised, vilified on internet

Gary Faulkner, seen in this 2006 mugshot, traveled to Pakistan several times to find Osama bin Laden.

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.”

soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. michael b. villanueva

    want to know where bin laden is?... his playin with the boston celtics!

    June 18, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew

    He is inspiring. It is ironic...extremist christian vs extremist muslim. Now we know how the poor people in Islamic countries feel about Bin Laden. I'm not religious at all but this Falkner Ninja seems pretty cool.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. nutcase13

    nutty prof. got caught right away, so he wont have much of adventure material to get a book or movie deal.....

    June 18, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. robble

    Didn't they offer a reward for Osama? What do they expect people to do? You GO GET 'EM Gary!!! Maybe Pakistan officials saw him getting to close to Osama and stopped him.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Silly


    pretty sure he was talking about the boondock saints...

    June 18, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    Hunting for a dead guy. The US needs a boogey man and Osama is that man.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. nutcase13

    ...he probably saying, damn &^%$ the sword should have brought Vaseline....

    June 18, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Newfie Girl

    I've just read through all of these post and I must be just as crazy as the lunatics that wrote them! It is quite obvious that Mr. Faulkner may not be playing with a full deck of cards, but at least he isn't publicly ranting and raving like the yahoos on here!

    June 18, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Susan

    What an intriguing story. How much intelligence has he secured? This was not his first trip there and probably he had built a small network with the locals for gaining info. Wonder if he had other backers here in the US bankrolling his mission and helping gathering intel? Oh, yeah...way interesting. We need more facts to understand his mission. Stop jumping to assumptions and let's wait for details.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alex

    I don't praise or vilify him for going after Bin Laden on his own, but I doubt that he really cares what a bunch of nerds posting on CNN say about him, and for THAT, I praise him.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Grace

    First of all, it was not in Bush's best interests or the GOPs for that matter to catch bin Laden. As long as there is a boogie man under the bed we are scared, vigilant and will do what we are told. I am sure all of you heard about it when you were kids. To catch bin Laden and destroy Al Qaeda would have meant we would have to get out of Afghanistan (fat chance now that there are trillions in minerals discovered there now) and Iraq, where W said that the oil revenues would pay for the war. I am sure he had a good chuckle as he flew out of DC for the last time....
    Does Gary think he actually had a chance? Did he forget to take his meds? Or was he an attention seeker. He had been over there many times "hunting." I am sure that the State Dept can verify that through his passport. And make a movie about him? Good Lord. He'll become the new Joe the Plumber, 15 minutes of fame and then back into the woodwork.
    Hmmm where's my gun, sword and Bible? I guess I'll head over there too...don't worry Gary, we are all going to hop on a plane to rescue you. Dream on!

    June 18, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Nancy

    Go for it!!! If I had the money I would subsidize your entire venture.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. eclipse

    Maybe he succeeded. Who's going to know? The Bin Laden cronies aren't going to reveal that a lone wolf from the USA took out their boss. This story may be bigger than we realize.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. GeorgeD

    If he was left alone he could have been successful. Imagine the movie version and all the sequels after that.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. bobby

    Good. If American govt cant hunt him maybe this man could.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
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