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. Marc

    This article is not journalism and makes a mockery of any standards CNN might claim to have, unfortunately. The author goes through a little dialog about how far two cities are apart on google maps in an informal writing style, quotes the insane claim of a deranged person that he scared out Bin Laden by being 300 miles away and therefore scaring him into staying where he already was, and then asks the reader the ridiculous question of whether he should get a bounty for wandering around in the same country as a criminal he never saw or got within 300 miles of locating. The nutcase does not deserve a bounty, but even more so the author does not deserve to be called a journalist.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberto

      I agree with the quality of the writing in this article and the decision to give it thumbs up to be actually posted on a well visited website such as CNN. Sure, his picture was great and flashed a spark in viewers memory as the guy claiming to hunt down bin laden from one year ago. However, did this guy really help? We might as well diagnose him with some type of psychological disorder prior to raising praises to this looney.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Bravo, couldn't have said it better myself.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • you're right

      It's a blog post.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what a flake, jeez I think I deserve some of the reward because I had a dream about it. Ok Dude, you got your 15 minutes . . . . NOW SHUT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ Parlier

      I am embarrassed for CNN, but more so I think I am insulted. This story belong in the Nat'l Enquirer, not here.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • chony M


      May 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • boris

      Why should a blog post be the equivalent of front page news when you visit CNN online? This is absolutely zero value information and a waste of time. I clicked this thinking the guy might have had a legitimate claim, but it's just garbage. The bait and switch.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • robmac

      II was in Algeria last Feb, according to google maps its about 7, 345 km, i was armed with toilet paper and a hot pepper,,,i made a call to a friend in Pakistan, and he answered his phone while walking behind Ossama's complex..while joking i made my friend scream "viva Ossama",,,,,,,the Americans picked Ossama's face when he looked outside to see my friend,,,they confirmed his location and planned the assault...i deserve some of the money!

      May 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Luisillo

    NO,he does not deserve any award money.If anybody,it should be the Navy SEALS.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jonathan

    This article is a new low for even CNN. Come on – try reading the WSJ and keeping to even their standards.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Who Cares

    AD, you are gay. Shut UP! And this dude is a tool. Like he could kill Bin Laden anyway. If he caught site of Bin Laden he'd S*** his pants and run!

    May 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marge

      I'm with you buddy. I am not feeling too well tonight but this gave me a nice laugh.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SS

    The only ones who deserve that reward are the members of Seal Team Six. I know the govt won't give them the cash, but I'd be elated if they did, behind closed doors. Those guys earned it and much much more.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Digital Compadre

    ..and why is CNN giving this psycho media time?

    May 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John


    May 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ERIC

    I just wasted my good 30 minutes reading this. very funny though. Your reward Mr, stupid publicity on CNN.... cheers

    May 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • NewsToMe

      It took you 30 min. to read that? =)

      May 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tonyisdumb

    Its funny because you're uninformed and making painfully broad generalizations. Also you believe God exists/ has anything to do with anything.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel

    he deserves a shower at least.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ed

    No, he shouldn't get the money. Give the money to the people that really flushed him out and killed him. Give the money to the SEAL team.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JaneD

    Uhh, Tony, tell us how you really feel. It sounds to me like a little anger management would be appropriate for you. I'm guessing the hole (country) from which you crawled isn't entirely innocent either. . . .

    May 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dub

    America rocks, don't hate cause you don't live here.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Roland

    Buy him a new bible, covered in genuine faux leather. And don't forget to engrave his name on the purest golden ink, of course.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wakano

    Give the money to the SEALS. They can't receive it personally, but they could buy new zodiacs, better gear, maybe even go somewhere cool to train on site. The guy in this article is a clown.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
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