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. Daniel

    He was close...
    about 2,700 miles away.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Don

    I want my money. It's mine... gimme it

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

    i bet there is no way in hell o,b.laden would run from his hideout in the mountains because he heard one old hippie lone american was in the region looking for him. i first thought it was pretty brave of this dude to go out on his own and try to find obl but now i realize he is just another whack job.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. norcalmojo

    just looking at this guy makes me want to roll up a doob

    May 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CSG

    I think he should be committed and get treatment. Sounds like schizophrenia.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mtrought

    what is the difference between palin and this wacko. cnn seems to be so interested in these nuts

    May 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      *facepalm* Palin bashing is so 2010. Seriously, grow up tool.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • trev

      Easy, this guy seems more logical and intelligent.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruderal

      Sarah Palin has a synoptics administration that works for her and he don't?. this is the answer to: what is the difference between Sarah palin and Gary Faulkner. well the difference is that the CIA RMS would do the mass murder on the congress on your corner in Arizona but wouldn't tell Gary Faulkner where Osama bin laden was at?. the only difference besides gender?.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eko

    he looks like OBL with that stupid long hair and beard

    May 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Jesus heard that.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. grey fox

    i think this guy is the 7th member of the elite NAVY SEALS. Is it rambo or commando?

    May 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. zerodfg

    Hell no. If anything, the money should be split between the Navy Seal team.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeremy

    It's a double complete rainbow!

    May 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruderal

      Does it have LSD in it and people running around going "like wow man"?

      May 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sean

    40 Navy SEALS. 25 Million Dollars. Split it among the 40 brave SEALS who risked their lives to kill this terrorist.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomM

      Put the reward money in a fund for the families of SEALs lost.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruderal

      Service persons can't collect the reward money for getting Osama bin laden.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grant

      It was not Navy SEALS. SEAL team 6 is not part of the Navy.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dover

    So now we know it was just about the money. He is just the next guy who is trying to take credit. Fist the Bush followers are trying to somehow say he did it. What next, is Trump going to step up.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. norcalmojo

    "was armed with a dagger, some biblical literature, a pistol, night-vision goggles and a sword, news reports said."

    " yet somehow he managed to end up in Chitral, a mountainous district in the northern tip of the country."

    Come on, how can people not like this guy?

    He's a legend. Our own Man of La Mancha

    May 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brock Maher

      and a bag of hash

      May 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nina V.

      Our "Man of La Mancha"–good one!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LauraJ

    Er, no. You bag him, you get the reward. You locate him, maybe even then you get it. Otherwise no.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. horseyshytt

    The man pictured should get the reward money. Obama did nothing...he lied about killing OBL. If OBL is dead this man was the only one with gutz (he shoulda cut that beard off though) that deserves the money!!!

    May 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
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