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. kazz

    put this clown on the same boat as trump

    May 5, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    Anyone else notice that all of the networks (including Fox) now spell Osama Bin Laden "Usama"? In the past, different networks had different spellings. I believe that the universal "Usama" spelling is due to our president's name similarity to "Osama".

    May 5, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      It can be pronounced either way. The shorthand that has been used by the intelligence community is UBL, so I assume the media are using "Usama" because of references to "UBL" in quoted sources. Possibly also to distinguish "Osama" from "Obama" in print, which unfortunately are very similar-looking.

      May 5, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. bigtoddspur69

    everyone just chill.........we need piece here not fighting you the guy is dead great for the usa...

    May 5, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Darren

    Yes .... it was the sword that scared him into the open.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. MGrant

    It didn't take long for the snakes to come out from under their rocks to claim "their share" of the reward for Osama's death. I read a suggestion from someone with a heart that the reward be given to the injured veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. That makes much more sense to me because they actually had something to do with this event while the posers will always be with us (sadly) but deserve no recognition much less monetary reward.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. ginger315

    Yeah, I should get part of the reward, too. I knew all along those Pakistani's weren't to be trusted and they were hiding him. Send my check to.............

    May 5, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kabel

    No, wait just a minute there Mr Faulkner. I was the one who chased him out of his hole first. He was holed up in side Disneyland at the 55 club. My intelligence gathering led me and my kids to his hide out and we would have had him, but my son's cap gun jammed and we lost him in the line to Splash we will take part of that $25 million first.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. TacoSalad

    This guy is insane.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Marsha

      Bingo. What an idiot. Wow, I worked with Ryan Seacrest before his fame. Does that allow me to cash in on his celebrity? This Dude needs to cute his 1960's hair, and get a job. What a loser.

      May 5, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
    • LL Barto

      I agree split that 25 million to those SEALS who would never ask to think for it!

      May 5, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • RedwithRage

      I think you people forget or don't realize they put a $25 Million price on OBL's head. Who couldn't use that money? If you've got nothing left to lose then what the hell? It's not as insane as you think. I think he was pretty courageous to travel around that country on his own hunt.

      May 5, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kabel

    That would just take way too much common sense, but you hit the nail on the head. People can not even discuss the article at hand. Everyone has to put in their two cents worth on everything from Osama to the federal reserve. Osama is DEAD. Let's move on. But if someone deserves the reward it's our soldiers, our troops, not some nit wit on dialysis with a 38 and a sword.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ivanhoe

    king of Bat'ha novel reveals more about life in Middle East

    May 5, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Devan

    GIve him the money!!! Hey at least he tried.. I didn't see not one other person get off their ass and actually go look for bin laden hahaha

    May 5, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    This Gary whoever man is a complete moron. He has the nerve to disrespect the brave NAVY SEALS that went into the compound, while he was just sitting somewhere drinking a cold one. He has the nerve to say that he dug al-qaeda out?! al-qaeda is fighting a way with the world, and they ran from this man Gary, is that what im hearing? ...seriously, stoping your whining, go see a doctor for your health issues, and stop making false claims! YOU MAKE ME SICK!

    May 5, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      He's obviously not in his right mind so it's not even worth getting upset. I think the story is kind of funny!

      May 5, 2011 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
    • LL Barto


      May 5, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      This guy is most likely in a permanent trip most likely caused by his excessive use of acid in the 60's. If he wants 25 million for not even completing what the reward demanded (captured or dead Osama) well then he's a moron. He clearly did all this for attention if he had any real patriotic duty he would thank the Seals that actually got the job done and ask that they share the reward with him at the very least if not all of it.

      May 5, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. T_man

    He should be given a free ticket back to chitral and continue his mission.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nicole

    Should he get some of the reward? No. How about we give it to people who actually DID find him?

    May 5, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ed Manly

    I think he deserves a little credit for nuttiness anyways. Gary, can you help us out in Mexico next? Great tan Gary!

    May 5, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
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