Video: Bin Laden hunter’s brother: He had ‘good chance’

  1. Transcript of: Bin Laden hunter’s brother: He had ‘good chance’

    ANN CURRY, co-host: Now to new developments in the stunning arrest of a Colorado man in Pakistan . Gary Brooks Faulkner was detained on Monday as he tried to cross the border into Afghanistan armed with a pistol, a sword and night vision equipment. He told police he was on a mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden . His brother Dr. Scott Faulkner knew all about the plan and calls his brother a hero. Dr. Faulkner , good morning.

    Dr. SCOTT FAULKNER (Brother of Osama bin Laden Hunter): Good morning, Ann.

    CURRY: Well, you know, the average American wouldn't go across into Pakistan and spend basically seven years of his life trying to hunt down Osama bin Laden . What can you tell us about his brother and what would compel him to do this?

    Dr. FAULKNER: Well, Gary is not your average American . He's very passionate. He's a patriot. And after the Twin Towers came down in New York City , something stirred deep in his soul and he felt that Osama needed to come to justice. And so that's what motivated him for over seven years, almost 10 years now, to bring this man who is wanted by the US government to justice.

    CURRY: This was his sixth trip to Pakistan . Your family knew what he was doing. In fact, you drove him to the airport. Did anyone try to stop him?

    Dr. FAULKNER: Well, obviously my mother was not thrilled with Gary 's plans and she tried to talk him out of it. And our sister, Deanna , also tried to talk him out of it. But Gary is an adult and he was harming anyone else, he was not engaged in illegal activity so, you know, the rest of us felt if that's what he needed to do, then that's what he needed to do.

    CURRY: But Gary is -- has no military background, as I understand it. He's a -- he's a construction worker. You, however, did serve in the armed services . So didn't you -- weren't you at all concerned that he might get in the way of the US military , that the US military might not appreciate this vigilante approach?

    Dr. FAULKNER: No. He has a lot of survival training. My brother Todd , who's here in the studio with myself, and Gary , we've hunted all of our lives in the mountains of Colorado . So his survival skills was never a question. As far as the military goes, you know, if I -- being in the military , if Gary was a threat to their operations they would know who he was and they would tell him to stand down. So far as I know in our conversations, the government has never asked Gary , ` Look , you're interfering in an operation. We're close to this man. Give us intel or cease and desist.'

    CURRY: Are you suggesting that the military knew? Did anybody in the US government know about what Gary was doing?

    Dr. FAULKNER: I'm not suggesting that at all, no. I'm not privy to military intelligence and the government has not contacted myself or Gary .

    CURRY: Did you actually believe that your brother had a chance of success?

    Dr. FAULKNER: Early on, on his earlier adventures, I did not. But having talked to him, having listened to the information that he gathered from locals -- because when Gary would go to Pakistan he would dress in the garb of the Taliban . And when he had his beard long, and you have photos of that, he blended in very well. So he could go places that military operation of several men could not. So with that information, it made reasonable or plausible sense that he was in the right area. And given the fact that our military is focused in Afghanistan , really not in the northern mountains of Pakistan , I felt he had a good chance, yes.

    CURRY: Meantime, your brother , when you took him to the last time to the airport, is -- discovered I guess about six months before he left that he had problems with his kidneys, his kidneys were failing him. Your sister has said that he was a dying man. So how -- what do you -- how -- what is your response when you hear people publicly say -- question whether or not what he was doing was crazy?

    Dr. FAULKNER: Well, that's for public opinion. But knowing my brother , being a physician, I understand that people have to have a passion in life to live. And he was not crazy. He had a plan. It was a logical plan. On several of his other trips he has been in dangerous situations and had the wherewithal to back out. He didn't go guns a-blazing into this. He knew when the situation was getting out of hand. Now, on this occasion he knew his health was failing. He wasn't sure if he was going to be able to make it back alive. In fact, that's what we talked about on the ride the airport. I asked him what his final wishes were if he were to come back home in a body bag. But he -- this was not a death wish and he did not want to become a martyr.

updated 6/22/2010 7:43:36 PM ET 2010-06-22T23:43:36

A relative of an American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden said Tuesday that the Colorado man is being released by the Pakistani government without charges.

Gary Faulkner, of Greeley, was detained June 13 in the woods of northern Pakistan after being found with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment. The 50-year-old told officials he was out to kill the al-Qaida leader. Faulkner was then moved to Islamabad, and a relative said Tuesday that he was being released to American authorities there and would return to the U.S. "very soon."

The relative didn't want to be identified because a family-designated spokesman hadn't yet confirmed the release. The spokesman didn't immediately return calls from The Associated Press. Faulkner's brother, Scott Faulkner, told AP he'd heard the news of the release plans but wasn't ready to comment.

Gary Faulkner is an out-of-work construction worker who sold his tools to finance six trips on what relatives have called a Rambo-type mission to kill or capture bin Laden. He grew his hair and beard long to fit in better.

Scott Faulkner told reporters last week that his brother wasn't crazy, just determined to find the man America's military has failed to capture nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

"Is it out the norm? Yes it is. But is it crazy? No," Scott Faulkner said. "If he wore a uniform and called himself special ops, would he be crazy?"

Another relative told AP on Tuesday he wasn't sure when Faulkner would return to Denver but that it would be in coming days. The relative said Faulkner, who has kidney problems and needs dialysis, has been treated well by Pakistani authorities and is in good spirits.

State Department officials declined to comment, citing privacy concerns. Faulkner, two department officials said, refused to sign a waiver allowing the government to discuss his case publicly.

Faulkner left Colorado in May 30. Scott Faulkner, a physician in the northeastern Colorado town of Fort Morgan, dropped his brother off at the airport and wasn't sure he'd see him again. But he and other relatives have insisted that Gary Faulker left the U.S. unarmed, had a valid visa for Pakistan and was guilty of no crime while there. Indeed, relatives have said they hope the trip encourages more people to look for bin Laden.

"Now there's going to be hopefully a renewed effort to get this guy — he's still wanted, and he's still out there," Scott Faulkner said last week.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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