US officials in Pakistan were allowed to meet with an American on Thursday, who was arrested while on a mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden, an embassy spokesman said according to CNN.
US officials withheld identification because no privacy act waiver had been signed. But Pakistani police and intelligence officials say the individual is Gary Faulkner, who was arrested in northern Pakistan on Sunday.
Faulkner, 50, was detained after he was stopped near the border with Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, CNN quoted Pakistani police as saying. He was carrying a pistol, a sword, night-vision equipment and Christian books, the website added.
Faulkner told police that he had been looking for bin Laden since al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, CNN said, adding that the US State Department is offering a reward of up to $25 million in return for information leading to bin Laden’s arrest.
The CNN website further said that the California-born independent contractor has lived in Colorado since 1968, according to his brother Scott Faulkner. Gary Faulkner did not think the US government was 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,” CNN quoted Scott Faulkner as saying.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 18th, 2010.
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