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. Yup

    I say give this poor, brave and somewhat crazy dude the money. The US mint can just rattle off some out and it wouldn't make a difference. As for killing innocent people all sides of this conflict, war, occupation, oil grab, or religious blunder have doing it. WHAT A MESS!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joshua Awami

    He should Stand as much distance from the award as he stood from the scene where Bin Laden killed

    May 5, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. jflo

    LOL, this made me smile!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    What an idiot. No he shouldn't he didn't do anything. Did he provide any intelligence? No because he didn't have any. He's just a guy without a job who thought hey I'm gonna go to Pakistan and look for Bin Laden, that should be easy. If I didn't have a life I could try that too.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. jflo

    I admire and appreciate his efforts for our country, especially if he was on dialysis. However, the article did make me smile : )

    May 5, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Carl

    Someone hasn't been getting enough dialysis...

    May 5, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. xrk9854

    Very sad CNN chose to put this on it's front page. This is NOT news.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. SamuraiCowboy

    The only reward this nut job deserves is to locked up in a mental ward for life.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert Ore

      So, this guy has presented just as much proof as "Read my lips: He's dead" Obama?

      May 5, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • CTEX

      He will probably go out on a speaking tour and make a ton of $$$.

      May 5, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • TriXen


      May 5, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Maverick

    Is it me, or does he bear a resemblance to Sir Richard Branson?

    May 5, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Perhaps Branson mixed with Tommy Chong!

      May 5, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Vic Tayback

      He looks a bit like Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fam.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Earl

      It's you.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • CTEX

      Dave? Dave's not here man.

      May 5, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dixie Normous

    Navy Seal walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a Bin Laden, bartendar says.."What's a bin laden?"..Seal says 2 shots and a splash of water..

    May 5, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      That's old already.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. bdgfn

    Hell no. Faulkner's an idiot. He's insane if he thinks he had anything to do with this. I don't think OBL was the least bit worried about him, if he even knew who he was.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kenny S. / Texas


    May 5, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kenny S. / Texas

    Is this guy Cheech or Chong? I get them two confused.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Amanda

    What a nut!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nick

    Rewards are typically given for actually doing something. All you did was go on a glorified scavenger hunt that turned up nothing of benefit in his ultimate capture.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
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