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. Josh

    Write this man a check! Well done Gary!

    May 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. psychiatrist

    Look this guy clearly has a mental illness probably bi polar, maybe schizophrenia, but the fact that cnn is treating his delusions as news is sad, he needs treatment not publicity.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    You get a free bottle of Prozac for your efforts.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. coder

    YES – give him the money – he needs it for a shrink...

    May 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ken

    Well, at least the man is not a coward! Being a coward used to be bad in this country..much like being gay. Today both are celebrated. Yes, he should be reimbursed for his expenses he incured on his mighty fine hunting trip. Additionally, he should be paid "union" wages for his time.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • stejo

      Ken, try coming out of the closet. You will know what courage truly is.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pajorek

      I can't help but agree with you.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • wompas

      those damn gay cowards! *shakes fist*

      May 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tonlok

    I looked for him while hiking in the rocky mountains last summer, and I was as close to finding OBL as he ever was...

    May 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hooligan

    Despite the fact that Osama was killed years ago... the term "bounty" is directly connected with the actual CAPTURE of the target... which he did not.

    No bounty, no reward. Plain and simpe

    May 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lulu

    I agree with everyone, is he totally insane or what? Honestly, what gives him the right to say that he had anything to do with Bin Laden's capture/death. Get Real!

    May 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Astra Navigo

    No, he shouldn't.

    He should get an all-expenses-paid trip to a rubber room....

    May 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. alex gluzman

    Give the idiot a haircut and be done with that

    May 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Syed

    If anyone flushed him out, it was the guys that bombed Tora Bora in 2001. Where Osama was thought to be hiding. Oh and the U.S. Military which spent the last 10 years hunting for him nonstop. And honestly, if this guy came to a Taliban or Al Qaeda compound filled with Al Qaeda Militants armed to the teeth with AK-47s, RPGs, and PKM Machine Guns, what would this guy do? Run out screaming something stupid? They would just shoot him on sight and continue on with their days. This guy is so insignificant to the hunt for Osama, that the only thing he has managed to flush out is any doubt in people's minds that he is a complete nutjob.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dan

    What the hell has happened to this country since the 90's? The last decade, nut-jobs and oafs are coming out of the woodwork like never before.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. margie

    is this guy serious... i really needed a laugh today......that money should go to the surviviours and family members of 9/11 and the the navy seals that risked their life to go in there and get him.........

    May 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. joe

    Yeah an old guy on dialysis, with a knife and a sword scared Osama out of the mountains and in to a Mansion. I think its sad that CNN even wrote this story. The headline makes the story sound good. After reading this I can promise I will be reading less.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joseph

    I was just doing some fishing in the Arabian Sea and just found Osama floating face down with Lobsters pinching on his balls....I would like the 25 mill in 20's and 50's

    May 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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