What General Petraeus and Gary Faulkner Have in Common

August 18 2010, 8:50 AM
Earlier this week, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Army General David Petraeus, called al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden an "iconic figure" and said arresting him is still a "very important task for all of those who are engaged in counterterrorism around the world" (via The Associated Press). Petraeus reiterates that bin Laden may be hiding in an extremely remote mountainous area of Pakistan. Another man concerned about bin Laden's capture---or killing---is Colorado's own self-styled bin Laden hunter, Gary Faulkner (right), who was kicked out of Pakistan when he went commando. Faulkner, 51, now tells The Denver Post he's eager to try again and would like to use a balloon or glider to fly into the wilderness of Pakistan to renew his search for the man credited with orchestrating the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "They are looking for me to come in low, but I'm coming in from above," Faulkner explains. "I'll talk to anyone that has some sort of experimental craft. The job is not done. And I'm not going in as an American. I'm going in as a thief." But Faulkner, a construction worker from Greeley who has made eight trips to hunt for bin Laden, faces some hurdles. He's jobless, living on about $485 a month in welfare benefits and receiving dialysis treatments. Still, he claims a protein-rich diet keeps him strong and hopes his Facebook friends will help him acquire the money he needs to "take my final test."