Pakistani Officials Detain American Allegedly Hunting Osama bin Laden

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An American man who allegedly wanted to capture and kill Osama bin Laden in order to avenge the 9/11 terrorism attacked is being detained in northern Pakistan, say authorities.

Gary Brooks Faulkner, 51, was armed with a pistol and a 40-inch sword as he tried to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He was apprehended in a forest in the Chitral region, while traveling to the nearby Afghan region called Nuristan. Bin Laden is suspected by Western intelligence of hiding in the 2,400 kilometer-long, mountainous border area to which both these regions belong. Pakistani officials, however, deny the idea that bin Laden has evaded capture by hiding out in their country.

The mountains of Chitral are a popular destination for adventurous hikers from the West, and one of the few areas of Pakistan that is considered safe for tourists.

Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, the top police officer in the Chitral region, said that he and his colleagues laughed when Faulkner told them that he intended to kill bin Laden. When they discovered that he was not only armed but also carried night-vision equipment, however, they realized that he was serious about his mission.

“I think Osama is responsible for bloodshed in the world, and I want to kill him,” Khan quoted the American suspect as saying. Faulkner was taken to the nearby city of Peshawar and is being questioned by intelligence officials, but has not been charged.

Faulkner had checked into a hotel in the Chitrali town of Bumbrate on June 3, and was assigned a police guard, like most foreigners visiting remote parts of Pakistan. When he checked out of the hotel without informing authorities, said Khan, they began a search for him.

Faulkner also had Christian literature and a small amount of hashish—perhaps enough for a joint—when he was captured. According to his sister, he suffers from polycystic kidney disease and requires dialysis treatment every few weeks.

Deanna M. Faulker, of Grand Junction, Colorado, said that her brother wasn’t in danger of dying anytime soon unless he did not receive treatment, and therefore she doubted that his intention to travel to Afghanistan constituted “a hurrah thing.” She said that Faulkner was very religious but did not offer specifics.

Bin Laden is believed to have masterminded the terrorist attacks which took place on September 11, 2001. Since that time he has evaded a manhunt by the United States, which is offering a reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture. Many people believe that the terrorist leader is already dead.

 

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