American hunting bin Laden 'not crazy': brother
(AFP) – 2 hours ago
LOS ANGELES — An American construction worker arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of trying to hunt down and kill terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is "not crazy," his brother told CNN Tuesday.
Gary Brooks Faulkner, 50, was detained Monday in the remote mountains of Chitral, once a rumored hiding place of bin Laden, near Afghanistan's Nuristan province, armed with a pistol, dagger, sword and night-vision equipment.
The bearded would-be hitman -- quickly dubbed "the American Ninja" -- in US press reports Tuesday, was believed to be hunting down Al-Qaeda figurehead bin Laden, the subject of a 25-million-dollar bounty offered by the United States.
However Scott Faulkner said Tuesday that his sibling -- who suffers from kidney problems and high blood pressure -- was motivated by patriotism rather than the prospect of a multimillion-dollar payout.
"My brother is not crazy," Scott Faulkner told CNN. "He is highly intelligent and loves his country and has not forgotten what Osama has done to this country."
Scott Faulkner said his brother, an independent contractor who has lived in Colorado since 1968, was angered by the September 11, 2001 attacks and "taunts" by bin Laden against Christianity.
"When 9/11 happened, as a Christian we took that very personally, as did most of the country," Scott Faulkner said.
"It really messed up the psyche of America, and Osama had made some references to our god -- the god of the bible and in a poor light -- and the fact that he was taunting America and getting away with killing thousands of Americans, my brother took that very personally."
Scott Faulkner said his brother decided to take matters into his own hands after becoming frustrated at failure of US authorities to track down bin Laden.
"He's like a bulldog and when he got this idea to go after Osama he's not going to let it go," Faulkner said, adding that he had not done anything to deter his brother's mission.
"I did not discourage him. If he has a quest, a vision, a passion, then I encourage that. Is it my passion? Absolutely not, but this is his.
"He doesn't rob banks to support this, he doesn't go shooting people, he's not a terrorist and again, he's not crazy."
Police in Pakistan said Faulkner arrived as a tourist in the district of Chitral on June 3, checked into a hotel and was given the customary security escort, before he vanished.
US diplomats in Pakistan were notified that an American had been arrested.
"We are now working on getting consular access and meeting with the American citizen," said a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad.
Saudi-born bin Laden is now in his 50s and rumored to be in poor health.
Intelligence on his whereabouts is vague, but most reports suggest he is out of reach in mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which Washington says is Al-Qaeda's chief sanctuary and the most dangerous place on Earth.
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