Saturday 24 February 2018

'Rambo' fails in solo mission to decapitate bin Laden

Rob Crilly in Islamabad

A CALIFORNIAN builder has been arrested in northern Pakistan where he was on a one-man mission to find and decapitate Osama bin Laden in revenge for the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Gary Brooks Faulkner (52), who has been nicknamed "Rambo" at home, was detained with night-vision goggles, a pistol, dagger and 40-inch sword that security forces believe he intended to use to behead the al-Qa'ida leader.

Faulkner, a devout Christian, was carrying a book containing religious verses and teachings. He also had medication to treat his high blood pressure and a kidney condition.

Bin Laden's would-be nemesis set out from California and got into Pakistan on a tourist visa before buying his weapons. He arrived in Bumburate, a town in the mountainous Chitral region on June 3 on what is believed to have been his seventh trip to Pakistan and his third to Chitral.

Police there had assigned him a security guard because an American tourist was unusual in this area, but he slipped away in the middle of the night and a search was launched.

He was spotted 10 hours later on a mountain track in a forest nine miles from the remote border he was trying to cross into Afghanistan.

According to a Pakistani intelligence official, Faulkner warned police officers "Don't come closer to me or I'll open fire", but then gave himself up.

He told them he was on a mission to kill Osama bin Laden, saying: "God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing him."

Mr Faulkner said he was heading to the eastern Afghan region of Nuristan where he believed bin Laden, who has a $25m (€20m) price on his head, was hiding.

Muhammad Jafar, the police chief of Chitral, said he had been handed on to intelligence officials for questioning.

"During the initial interrogation, the American national said that he was going to Nuristan on a 'mission to decapitate Osama bin Laden' and his four accomplices who posed a constant threat to America," he said.

Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, a Pakistani police spokesman, said: "We initially laughed when he told us that he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden but our suspicions grew when we saw his weapons.

"He said 9/11 caused colossal losses to the US, therefore, he wanted to locate Osama bin Laden and his friends. We presume he came here with an intention to kill them."

Mr Faulkner was sent to Peshawar, where he is being questioned by Pakistani intelligence agents. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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