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. Maharishi Swami Poobah

    They should donate the millions to the SEAL team wives and children fund. God bless our troops.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. GIGI


    May 5, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    Geez, CNN, you are stooping pretty low to fill space on your webpage. This guy is a loony and doesn't deserve the time of day. I say give him $1 million of the reward and then tax him at a special nut rate of 125%.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Eric

    Actually, for the scientifically challenged, GRAVITY IS A LAW, not a theory, birdbrain.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Corey

    I remember seeing this guy on the View. He seemed like a bit of a nut-job. But come on. Let's get serious. He deserves just as much money as the rest of the world. I'm sure there are lots of other people who wonder around the world with those things in their possession. Ridiculous.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. unowhoitsme

    His lawyer will come up with some creative way to convince a jury he "deserves" part of the reward.

    Give the reward to the real heroes of 911.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      I would like the same lawyer since I went to the pan handle of Florida which is approx 300 miles from Atlanta, then I went to a library there and read about Pakistan and Ben Ladin, then I went to Sarah Palin Porch in Alaska where I saw Russia therefore I deserve 10% of the million dollar on Ben Ladin Head. PLEASE MR LAWYER GET ME MY MONEY! I NEED IT NOW

      May 5, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Todd

    this guy is a nut job. running around with a sword? this isnt middle earth. he had nothing to do with the capture

    May 5, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. SWAG


    May 5, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. gedwards

    Sure, give him some - the portion that's buried somewhere in the region. When he finds it, he can have it.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    "Yeah right"? What kind of journalism is that? What ever happened to just the facts? Another Glenn Beck wannabe here.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • yes!

      I completely agree - an unnecessary bit of subjectivity.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. The Interlocutor

    Okay, your 15 minutes are up . . . next!

    May 5, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. JomoDaMusicMan

    I meant 10% of 25 mil which is $2,500,000. IT'S MY REWARD MONEY & I NEED IT NOW

    May 5, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. james

    Give him SOMETHING... he obviously needs it for his dementia treatment.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. dgcasey0325

    Okay Gary, your fifteen minutes starts right now. Make it count.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. acapotle

    Give him some! He is the only civilian who had the nuts to go over and give er' a try....that should be worth something.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
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