American Hunting bin Laden Undergoes Medical Tests in Pakistan
VOA News 16 June 2010
Authorities in Pakistan say an American detained on suspicion of being on a personal mission to hunt down and kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has undergone medical tests.
Police in northern Pakistan say they arrested Gary Faulkner, a construction worker from the state of California, in the Chitral region near the Afghan border on Monday. They say he was armed with a handgun, a sword, a dagger and night vision equipment.
Faulkner's family says he has failing kidneys and needs dialysis treatment. On Wednesday, Pakistani officials said the American was examined by a doctor in the northwestern city of Peshawar. He was also questioned by intelligence officials.
Faulkner's younger brother, Scott, says Gary is a normal person who became passionate about finding the al-Qaida leader following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States.
Scott Faulkner says his brother had traveled to Pakistan five times before his current trip and believed he knew where bin Laden has been hiding.
Pakistani police say Gary Faulkner was trying to cross into Afghanistan's Nuristan region when he was apprehended.
Afghanistan's Nuristan region and Pakistan's Chitral region are among several rumored hiding spots for the al-Qaida leader.
Pakistani police say Faulkner arrived in Chitral on June 3 and was staying at a local hotel. Officials there had assigned him a security guard, a step that is common for foreigners in remote parts of Pakistan. Pakistani authorities began searching for Faulkner when the guard noticed that he had disappeared.
Friends of Faulkner say he is a devout Christian who has traveled widely in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden's whereabouts have remained a mystery since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for information leading to bin Laden's capture.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|