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. Painful Deceptions

    It is an insult to our country to call this guy with a lengthy criminal record an American HERO. Am I having a night mare or my fellow Americans are really trying to prove to the world that we are society of criminals and people with lengthy criminal records are our HEROs. If our HEROs are those who have a lengthy criminal record, then how criminal our leaders are supposed be? No wonder we were ruled by Bush and Cheney for 8 years and BP, Exxon, Heliburton are among our proud achievements.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. imnotrich

    And the sad thing is, this guy was probably closer to his objective than our impotent military. How is it possible that one evil terrorist can go on a camping trip and hide from our technology and are very competent enlisted personnel? Because BinLaden can see us coming on those unencrypted videos from our predator drones, whereas this one nut job is able to blend in. Maybe if we sent several hundred more like him, we'd actually get the job done.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Deuce

    Someone get this guy a light saber and some chain mail......a SWORD?!?!?! Hahaha, what do you need a sword for when you already have fire arms? How do you sneak anywhere with a sword?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. me

    Is that not John Denver?

    June 18, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rob

    Call him morbid, call him pale he's spent 10 years on bin Laden's trail without a second to spear.

    I'd need to hear his reasoning before i can jump too conclusions.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. TheQuestion

    Seems to me like Pakistan is trying to protect bin laden by arresting this fellow... an explanation of his arrest and what laws he broke would be nice CNN.

    Also... people spouting he's a Jesus freak or some crazy zealot are retarded. It's wrong to judge the man when you don't even know him. Have you ever thought maybe he's just a man on a mission ... + a christian? I never knew so many bigots until reading the CNN user commentary. You should equate yourselves to the same bigots who hate Islam and if the reader finds offense or is a proud atheist... I preemptively laugh at you for thinking you're so strong that you don't need a religion to live. If you were to ever find yourself near the brink of death I bet other than an ambulance, you would be crying for help from the God you don't believe in.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Painful Deceptions

      So your are judging OBL because you know him?

      June 18, 2010 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nik Green

    11 facts about "Terror Superstar" Osama bin Laden about which the media does their level best not to tell the US public:

    (1) He's not wanted by the FBI for 9/11. *QUOTE* ".... we have no hard evidence linking OBL to the crimes of 9/11 – FBI spokesman Rex Tomb, 2006.
    (2) OBL has not been indicted by US Dept. Of Justice for any crime related to the 9/11 attacks.
    (3) OBL's "confession" videotape found in Jalalabad is a proven fake, debunked by experts all over the world. And its a very poor and unconvincing one at that.
    (4) OBL was visited by CIA agents and station chief Larry Mitchell, Dubai, June 2001, while he was on the FBI's "Most Wanted" List for various bombings in Africa. He was neither arrested nor detained. (Le Figaro, 2001)
    (5) 9/10/2001: CBS News: OBL stayed at a hospital the night before 9/11/2001 in a joint Pakistan/US military/intel facility in Rawalpindi, under extremely heavy security. Again, he was neither arrested nor detained. This was the last reliable public sighting of OBL.
    (6) OBL "escaped" the US military after being "surrounded" in Afghanistan 4 times in 2001/2002. (!)
    (7) OBL's subsequent video broadcasts have all been proven as fakes.
    (8) Central Intelligence: There are no connections between OBL's personal finances, and 9/11 funding.
    (9) OBL's relatives were allowed to exit the US, on a private flight immediately after 9/11 (while private flights were grounded by the FAA)... without been questioned by the FBI.
    (10) For 10 years, there has been a $25 million reward on the head of OBL, dead or alive... and nobody in Afghanistan or Pakistan has come forward.
    (11) After 10 years, the combined might of the US and coalition military, the intelligence community and Interpol have failed to locate OBL, let alone capture him. However, ABC reporter John Milller is able to waltz into his hideout and conduct a series of interviews on camera. This was *after* the US Embassy bombings in Africa.

    No apologies to that filthy traitor Cass Sunstein. No conspiracy theory required: All this information is verifiable, but has been deemed "off message" by the corporate media.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • vee

      dude what is up with the long a- CNN special report mandate?

      June 18, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    At least the man has a plan! As oppose to Obama ....

    June 18, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Painful Deceptions

    I wonder why they do not mess up in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bhrain, Dubai and other Arab countries. Oh yeah, I remember they chop off the hands and even heads, if some one messes up in their countries.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Collin

    Good going numbskull, you won`t be a very effective hunter you just went and plastered your face all over CNN, now they KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE!

    June 18, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Justin

    You go get um Faulkner baby!!!!! The U.S. should pay your costs. Get-er-done!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. mejazzbo

    After this much time, it's obvious the US government can't/won't capture/kill Osama bin Laden with all the political rhetoric, warriors and devices at their disposal. This lone man, seems to have gotten further on numerous occasions in Pakistan than anyone else. By publishing Mr. Faulkner's photo and story the media may have made it impossible for him to be effective. He stands on his own facing incredible odds. He deserves respect for his efforts.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. M.j's

    Whoever that think's and support Osama bin ladin will be assasinated their most be something wrong with him.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. ob

    hunting down one evil mastermind with gun and sword in hand. That is exactly what Jesus would do according to the Gospel of Pacifist Wrath II, this time "thou art personal"

    June 18, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. desert voice

    I have mixed feelings. As a Christian, he gets a D in my book. Christians do not run around killing! Forgiving, perhaps. As an American hero, I will go for that: he gets an A. He deserves more respect than all the CIA put together! The mental state has little to do on my assessment. It is possible that the Pakistani doctor was asked to save this guy from a long prison term in Pakistan. What better then, to find him "mentally deficient"? The bottom line is: we should try to catch Bin Laden alive, not to kill him! We are a Christian Nation!

    June 18, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • marye

      I wish I could believe we are "still" a Christian nation, but I do not think so.

      June 18, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
    • HuhWhatHuh?!?!?

      Are you serious? Look at the history of Christianity. Look at how much blood has been spilled in the name of God and religion? Some of the worst atrocities ever committed were carried out by Christians and Muslims in the name of their respective religions so don't act so damn self righteous and superior.

      June 18, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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