Skip to main content

American arrested searching for Osama bin Laden

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Bin Laden hunter 'not psychotic'
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Gary Faulkner jailed on three occasions in Colorado, records show
  • Faulkner "is not crazy," his brother says, but loves his country
  • He was bothered by bin Laden's "taunting," his brother says
  • Suspect carried pistol, sword, Christian books, police in Pakistan say

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- An American held in Pakistan who said he was looking for Osama bin Laden is "like a bulldog" who wouldn't let go of the idea of finding the fugitive al Qaeda leader, his brother said Tuesday.

"My brother is not crazy. He is highly intelligent and loves his country and he has not forgotten what Osama has done to this country," Scott Faulkner, brother of Gary Brooks Faulkner, told CNN.

"Osama had made some references to our God, the God of the Bible, 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," he said.

Gary Faulkner, 50, is being held in Pakistan after being stopped near the border with Afghanistan's Nuristan province, Pakistani police announced Tuesday. He was carrying a pistol, a sword, night-vision equipment and Christian religious books, said Mumtaz Ahmed, a police chief in the area.

He told police that he had been looking for bin Laden since al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington and had traveled to the area several times before, Ahmed said.

Video: American arrested in Pakistan
Video: Bin Laden mission impossible
RELATED TOPICS

A reward of up to $25 million is currently being offered by the U.S. State Department in return for information leading directly to bin Laden's arrest.

Faulkner said he had no intention of killing bin Laden, but because of the weapons he was carrying, police did not believe him, Ahmed said.

Faulkner is a California-born independent contractor who has lived in Colorado since 1968, his brother said.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show that a Gary Brooks Faulkner has a lengthy criminal record of minor offenses that dates to the early 1980s. He served jail time on three separate occasions for various charges that included second-degree burglary, and was arrested as recently as 2006 for a traffic violation.

More recently, Scott Faulkner said, his brother felt the U.S. government was not doing enough to bring bin Laden to justice, "and he felt that he was, as a Christian, not afraid -- that he could boldly step out and that doors would be opened for him."

"And I agree with him," Scott Faulkner said. "The fact that he's been over there six times and has not received a scratch tells me that somebody's looking after him."

Scott Faulkner said his brother "could blend in with the local population and go places that our military cannot go."

"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," he said. "He had a long beard. He looked like Taliban. When he wore his robe, he looked like Taliban. The only way you could tell he was not was when he spoke."

U.S. Embassy Spokesman Richard Snelsire did not confirm that Faulkner was in Pakistani custody, but said the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar did receive notification that an American citizen was detained. Snelsire said they were trying to get more details.

"We're hoping to get consular access to the individual," Snelsire said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the Pakistanis informed the U.S. government about the arrest, but he couldn't discuss details.

"We want to talk to him, figure out who he is, what brought him to Pakistan, and we'll take it from there," Crowley said.

CNN's Reza Sayah, Samson Desta and Melanie Whitley contributed to this report.

 
Quick Job Search