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. TrudyBird

    Hard up for stories, are we?

    May 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I see this all the time. I mean, c'mon, really? They're a news agency. What should they be reporting on? You just sit there and criticize them about being "hard up" for stories. Suggest what they should be reporting on then. Or better yet, BECOME a journalist yourself and you can report on the most exclusive stories all day every day. Otherwise, just shut it already.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mark worrell

    Gary Faulkner wants to steal the glory and the money that 100% belongs to the Seals. I hope he spent every dime he had on his failed and foolish attempt at stupid bravado.

    You aren't a hero, Gary; you're an very, very foolish man.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. w2lucky

    Yes, he should get some mula, and so should I.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HowNow

    I told [U.S. officials] that Bin Laden was somewhere on the planet. Now give me $5.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris from California

    I thought I was a smarter than this (to read this article), I have no idea why I did

    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. truthinrock

    What a nut job! Is he looking at me or for me?

    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WHTrunner

    Well, if they're not going to give the reward to anyone else, give it to him. I didn't see anyone else sifting through a bunch of homicidal lunatics armed with no more than a dagger, sword, pistol, and the awe inspiring word of God.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Curry

    Lets just drop him off back in the middle east and call "double or nothing"

    for Al Qaedas number two.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mary

    Really??!!! CNN is this the best you can do? All the wing nuts, please come out; do so this week and then all go away!!

    May 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jimmay Bonez

    American journalism has definitely gone down hill. I can't believe they would give an individual such as this his 15 mins of fame. I work in the business. We would never run a story such as this. What a waste of time.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hutch

    Obviously he deserves a portion of the reward money. His points are valid and he doesn't sound crazy at all.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Populares

    hahahahahaha !!!!

    May 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nan

    why not?? He should get SOMETHING, i mean the man went through all that!! i remember seeing his videos back then, armed with a Bible, a Sword or something, he Gets a A+ for effort, he shouldn't maybe get the 25Million, but he should get something, that's what i think.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • mdoelling

      Perhaps a free haircut and a shave.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BJ

    Give Faulkner $25 million in Monopoly money. He won't know the difference, it'll make him happy, and maybe he'll shut up.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jersey Joe

    Like Osama was really hard to find:,73.242427&spn=0.003844,0.006813&t=h&z=17

    May 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
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