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. Dave

    I don't understand. The only mention of religion in this article is that he had "Christian literature" on him. How many soldiers take Bibles with them when they go to war? Why are so many people labeling this guy a religious freak or a "Loony Christian warrior?" The article doesn't even say that his motivation was religious!! I, for one, would take my Bible with me when putting myself into a sitution where I'm going to be depending very heavily on the protection and providence of God.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Hey, there is like a $50 million bounty on OBL's head... I'm surprised there aren't a hundred more like Gary out there looking to bring him in!! Eventually someone will succeed... good.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ozzie

    Not much diiference between Faulkner and Shahzad – the NY bomber. They both want revenge. According to Shahzad the US bombed the hell out of where he lived in Pakistan and he wanted revenge. And Faulkner wants revenge for 9/11 attack. We wouldn't like it if Shahzad was hailed as a hero over in Pakistan now. Would we? So, we shouldn't treat Faulkner as a hero either. They both did wrong. Faulkner is lucky that he has not been put in prison.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. ImNoExpert

    CNN comments board is being weird with me, I keep meaning to reply to ppl but it doesn't seem to be showing that....

    Anyway, this guy is my hero. Call him crazy, stupid, disillusioned, impressionable, whatever you want, but you have to respect his actions. He went took it upon himself to try to right what he perceived to be an injustice in the world, and did not let years of emptyhandedness stop him. He traveled to a strange, faraway and dangerous place to try to stop an even more dangerous man. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Faulkner.

    One thing I do find funny about this story is that he was out in the mountains PHYSICALLY looking for Osama lol. I would imagine the US gov'ts strategy relies more along the lines of intelligence gathering and tracking down leads, rumors, etc lol. This guy's the man, he's on par with Epic Beard Guy.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tech

    to bad bin laden wasnt really responsible for 9/11 . that guy should be in america hunting the ones who REALLY were behind everything.. turn of the TV and READ.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. mr.mark

    he was totally misguided and foolhardy, but a very brave man. he deserves the book and cable-movie deals he'll be getting! meanwhile... WHY ISN"T THE U.S> GOVERNMENT HUNTING BIN LADEN DOWN? The ONLY thing that enemy understands is the rule they live by – an eye for an eye.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. t

    isn't this guy essentially doing what George Bush tried to do and now what Barack Obama is trying to do; catch Bin Laden? So is he just as crazy as they are or is he just as sane as they are?

    June 18, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. t

    isn't this guy essentially doing what George Bush tried to do and now what Barack Obama is trying to do; catch Bin Laden? So is he just as sane as they are or are they just as crazy as he is?

    June 18, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. ballz

    Isn't that Bob Seger?

    June 18, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cindy

    He's a "hero" because ... if he CAUGHT Bin Laden, he'd be a hero if not a God. But right now, he just appears to be a few fries short of a happy meal.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. nonya

    You know whats funny.... All these people that are against the most high and his son Jesus. All you Luciferians seem to forget one part. Lucifer was kicked out of heaven because he refused to serve man, the lower life form. Now do you seriously think that he has your best interest at heart down here as the bearer of light???? No all you anti-christ are being used as tools. The wheat will be separated from the tar and we will watch you burn if you dont get right with the lord.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeremiah

    If he didn't hurt anybody and he was acting in what he considered to be America's best interest, what’s the difference? Send him back out, maybe he will get lucky.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Willie12345

    We could use a few guys like this to take back the National Park that Obama surrendered to the drug cartels.


    June 18, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Willie12345

    We could use a few guys like this to take back the National Park that Obama surrendered to the drug cartels.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bethany

    @HelsGod..I seriously doubt you understood what Bubushkavananana meant when he said "Saints".. He certainly wasn't talking about you...He was talking about the super cool Irish ones.

    June 18, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
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