CHITRAL, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan detained an American armed with a dagger, a pistol and night vision goggles for allegedly trying to sneak into Afghanistan to hunt and kill al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden, police said on Tuesday.
Californian Gary Faulkner, 40, was caught in the Brumboret Valley near the border of Afghanistan’s Nuristan province and was being questioned, Chitral police Chief Jaffer Khan said.
“He was roaming in the security zone in a suspicious manner. He had a dagger and night vision goggles with him. He is being investigated,” Khan said.
Mumtaz Ahmed, a senior police investigator, said Faulkner was also carrying a pistol and was hunting bin Laden because he suffered personal losses in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
An intelligence official in Chitral, who asked not to be identified, said Faulkner shouted “Don’t come closer to me or I’ll open fire!” when approached.
U.S. embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire confirmed that a U.S. citizen had been arrested and the embassy was seeking access to him.
The daily Dawn newspaper on Tuesday said Faulkner acknowledged to police that he wanted to “decapitate Osama bin Laden.”
If confirmed, this would mark one of the first instances of an American entering Pakistan and Afghanistan on his own to fight against al Qaeda and other militants.