Detained Osama Hunter Gary Faulkner 'In Good Spirits'

Family: American Embassy Officials Met With Gary Brooks Faulkner, Expect Release 'Soon'


June 17, 2010 —

Gary Brooks Faulkner, the American who was detained in Pakistan while on a one-man mission to kill Osama bin Laden, is fairly healthy and in "good spirits," embassy officials told the man's family today.

"The American embassy had met with Gary with a doctor," Faulkner's brother-in-law John Martin told ABC News. "He hasn't gotten the dialysis yet and needs it, but is in good spirits and fair health." Faulkner is said to suffer from kidney disease.

Martin said the embassy official expected the Pakistanis to release Faulkner "soon."

An embassy spokesman confirmed the meeting with Faulkner, but declined to provide details beyond noting that "health is a concern in any consular visit."

Faulkner, 51, a construction worker who lived in Greeley, Colo., was arrested Monday attempting to cross into Afghanistan in the mountainous region of northern Pakistan. He was armed with a pistol, sword, night vision goggles, a map and was reportedly carrying Christian literature. When he was arrested, Faulkner told police he was intent on avenging the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks by killing bin Laden.

Since his arrest, Faulkner's family has been concerned for his health because Faulkner suffers from a kidney disease that requires dialysis periodically. Martin said one of the family's first calls after they learned of the arrest was to the U.S. State Department to alert them to Faulkner's condition "to see if they could maybe interfere and make sure he at least lives through this."

Family Says Faulkner is Patriotic, Not Crazy

Martin said Faulkner talked openly with the family about his plans to hunt down the al Qaeda leader.

"He's a very deeply religious individual, very patriotic," Martin said Tuesday. "It seemed to be his thing. He thought it should be done and he thought he could accomplish it."

Osama bin Laden has evaded one of the largest international manhunts in history and remains on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Martin said Faulkner was not trained in any way for a seek and destroy mission and had no military training, though he had been to the region before. Faulkner's brother Scott said he was trained in martial arts and a sword and dagger were his "weapons of choice."

"We initially laughed when he told us he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden," one official, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, said after the arrest, according to The Associated Press.

Faulkner also has an arrest record and spent time in Colorado prisons, according to public records.

It is illegal to carry weapons without a license in Pakistan, but no formal charges have been brought against Faulkner.

Brother: Faulkner Would Enjoy Attention for 'Waking America Up'

While going on such a mission in hostile territory alone and with no training to find the most wanted man on the planet may have seemed ridiculous to many, Faulkner's brother said he had made several trips to the area to reconnoiter bin Laden's possible location -- and believed he had found the cave where the al Qaeda leader was hiding.

Scott Faulkner said Tuesday his brother had "stood at its entrance, possibly within 100 feet" of where he believe his target was living.

If his brother's mission failed and even if he died trying, Scott Faulkner said his brother would "love" the media attention.

"It's waking America back up... The fact that it's bringing it back in the forefront of the American psyche, now there's hopefully going to be a renewed effort to get this guy," Scott Faulkner said Tuesday.

While he was likely aware of the hefty $25 million reward for information leading to Bin Laden's arrest, Martin said the cause was more important.

"The inspiration was more important to him than the money," he said.

Scott Faulkner told CNN Tuesday his brother is "highly intelligent" and "has not forgotten what Osama has done to this country."

"I think probably every family member out there has a non-traditional family member," Martin said. "Ours is just maybe more newsworthy than some sometimes."

Already Facebook groups have popped up declaring Faulkner a hero and patriot -- a faked personal page features an action figure in the profile picture -- but Martin stopped short of agreeing.

"If he accomplished it, he damn sure would've been tagged that, wouldn't he?" he said.