Sword-Wielding Vigilante’s Quest to Kill bin Laden Cut Short by Pakistani Authorities
While Americans love rooting for the John Marston-style vigilante who crosses over the border to cut down his enemies, it appears that method may have its limits: Gary Brooks Faulkner, a 52-year-old construction worker from California allegedly armed with “a handgun, a sword, a dagger and night vision equipment,” was arrested by police in Pakistan after he snuck out of his hotel to track down and kill Osama bin Laden.
This case has the dubious distinction of being the first time a U.S. citizen has been arrested on Pakistani soil not for attempting to aid insurgents, but for trying to fight against them.
The American national had been staying at a hotel in Chitral, a popular tourist destination where he apparently had traveled before. Local police assigned an officer to monitor the hotel, due to the presence of the American in a region where anti-U.S. Islamic militants are abundant. Police say he was traveling on a tourist visa.
Police say the man left his hotel quietly without notifying them of his intentions. He was located after a wide search, allegedly carrying a handgun, a sword, a dagger and night vision equipment. The police source tells Yousafzai the man said he wanted to go to Nuristan to kill the al Qaeda leader.
While Faulkner’s approach admittedly sounds like it’d make for a good movie or video game, it’s probably for the best that he was stopped before he put himself in harm’s way: Sans cheat codes, a gun, a sword, a knife, and night vision goggles are probably not the best tools for taking on heavily armed insurgents, and had he been captured or taken hostage he could have put American troops further in harm’s way.
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