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Colorado man arrested on mission to kill bin Laden

10:05 AM, Jun 16, 2010   |    comments
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The man was identified as 52-year-old Colorado construction worker Gary Brooks Faulkner, said officer Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, and had a pistol and a 40-inch sword when he was detained in northern Pakistan. He reportedly told investigators he was on a solo mission to kill bin Laden.

Faulkner's sister, Deanna Faulkner, lives in Grand Junction. She says her family has not spoken to Gary since his arrest, adding that all messages to her brother were required to go through the state department.

Dr. Scott Faulkner, Gary Faulkner's brother, spoke to reporters during a press conference in Denver Tuesday afternoon.

"My brother is not crazy," Scott Faulkner said. "He is highly intelligent and loves his country and has not forgotten what Osama has done to this country."

Scott Faulkner says he is speaking out to media outlets to defend his brother.

"He's not crazy, he's not a psychopath. He's not a sociopath. He's a man on a mission, and his mission just happens to take him half way around the world," he said.

Scott Faulkner says he sees his brother as a martyr who planned to capture bin Laden dead or alive.

"He has told me, 'I don't want to die on that mountain. If it happens, so be it, but I don't want to die chasing Osama. I would rather bring him in, and have him die for his cause, and his country,'" he said.

Gary Faulkner was born in Los Angeles and moved to Colorado in 1968 where he worked as an independent contractor. Scott Faulkner says his brother is not insane and doesn't have photos of bin Laden hanging up in his home.

"When 9/11 happened, as a Christian we took that very personally, as did most of the country," Scott Faulkner said. "It really messed up the psyche of America, and Osama had made some references to our God - the god of the bible and in a poor light - and the fact that he was taunting America and getting away with killing thousands of Americans, my brother took that very personally."

Faulkner shared the last photograph he took of his brother. The photo shows Gary holding a suitcase outside of the terminal at Denver International Airport. After Dr. Faulkner took the picture with his cell phone, his brother Gary boarded a plane bound for his trip to Pakistan.

Scott Faulkner says his brother felt the U.S. government was not doing enough to find bin Laden and he had gone to Pakistan six times without suffering a scratch.

"He's like a bulldog and when he got this idea to go after Osama," Scott Faulkner said, "he's not going to let it go and now his health is failing and he's on dialysis and in fact about five days ago he had to go to southern Pakistan to get dialyzed because he was getting weak and then he went back up, so he's got a sole focus, he's not crazy, in fact, he's very smart."

Scott Faulkner says even though some members of his family were not happy about his brother's quest, he never told him not to pursue it.

"Needless to say, our mother is not thrilled that my brother is doing this," Scott Faulkner said. "I did not discourage him. If he has a quest, a vision, a passion, then I encourage that. Is it my passion? Absolutely not, but this is his. He doesn't rob banks to support this, he doesn't go shooting people, he's not a terrorist and again, he's not crazy. So the fact that he is going after a wanted man that the United States government has wanted, by all means go get him."

Scott Faulkner says his brother did not have the weapons with him when he left Denver International Airport because the Pakistan government does not allow people to carry a sniper rifle onto an airplane.

"Normally Gary, when he goes to Pakistan, he will have a sword and he was trained in haikido, so he knows some marital arts and how to handle himself, and a three-edged dagger and that's his weapons of choice," Scott Faulkner said.

Scott Faulkner says his brother grew a beard and wore a robe, making him look like a member of the Taliban.

"I was in the military and I saw how the government works and it's not a clandestine, secretive sort of thing and let's face it, [bin Laden] was not their top priority at this point and time," Scott Faulkner said. "We have relationships with the Pakistani government, 'OK, you can go in this region or you can't go in that region.' Whereas my brother could go about willy-nilly."

According to Scott Faulkner, his brother Gary would take $500 to $1,000 with him each time and live off the land. He says his brother never hired security because he never knew who he could trust. Scott Faulkner says his brother never received satellite photos from the U.S. government.

"I've spoken to the state department," Scott Faulkner said. "They said that he is alive and that he is being questioned by the Pakistani government but other than that I've not talked to him."

Gary Faulkner was picked up in a forest in the Chitral region late on Sunday, he said.

"We initially laughed when he told us that he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden," Khan said. But he said when officers seized the pistol, the sword and night-vision equipment, "our suspicion grew."

He was questioned Tuesday by intelligence officials in Peshawar, the main northwestern city.

Gary Faulkner told police he visited Pakistan seven times, and this was his third trip to Chitral.

Police alleged the American intended to travel to the eastern Afghan region of Nuristan, just across the border from Chitral.

The area is among several rumored hiding places for the al-Qaida leader, who has evaded a massive U.S. effort to capture him since 2001. Bin Laden is accused of being behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, as well other terrorist acts.

Khan said Faulkner was also carrying a book containing Christian verses and teachings.

When asked why he thought he had a chance of tracing bin Laden, Faulkner replied, "God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing him," said Khan.

Faulkner arrived in the Chitrali town of Bumburate on June 3 and stayed in a hotel there.

He was assigned a police guard, as is quite common for foreigners visiting remote parts of Pakistan. When he checked out without informing police, officers began hunting for him, said Khan.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire said the mission had received notification from Pakistani officials that an American citizen had been arrested. He said embassy officials were trying to meet the man and confirm his identity.

If you know Gary Faulkner or have information about this story, contact 9Wants to Know at blowthewhistle@9news.com.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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