Pakistan may release bin Laden hunter

Pakistan may quickly release an American construction worker in poor health who is being held on suspicion of wanting to kill Osama bin Laden, a senior official said on Friday.

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2010, 23:27 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan may quickly release
an American construction worker in poor health who is being
held on suspicion of wanting to kill Osama bin Laden, a senior
official said on Friday.

Gary Brooks Faulkner was arrested Monday in the
remote mountains of Chitral, once a rumoured hiding place of
bin Laden, near the Afghan border, armed with a pistol,
dagger, long sword and night-vision equipment.
Faulkner purportedly told police he was on a solo
mission to hunt down bin Laden, the world`s most wanted man
with a 25 million dollar bounty on his head, and he has become
known in the United States as "the American Ninja".

"Faulkner is still in Pakistan`s custody and is
being interrogated," a senior Pakistani official told AFP on
condition of anonymity.

"The US national will be released if nothing
substantive is found against him after the interrogation."

Asked if he would be handed over to the US embassy,
the official said: "It should be done sooner than later
because Faulkner is sick."
US consular officials met Faulkner in Islamabad on
Thursday. A Christian believer, he suffers from high blood
pressure and kidney problems, which relatives say requires
dialysis.

The Pakistani official said Faulkner`s weapons had
raised alarm bells, but that he had posed no problems on
previous visits to Pakistan, another indication that
authorities may be thinking about an imminent release.

Brother Scott Faulkner told CNN that Gary Faulkner
had been motivated to hunt bin Laden by patriotism and a
belief in God, saying he was not crazy, psychotic or
schizophrenic.

PTI