‘Bin Laden hunter’ wants piece of $27 mn reward
Washington: Gary Faulkner, an American who gained fame as the “Osama bin Laden hunter”, wants a chunk of the 27 million dollar reward following terrorist’s death.
The US State Department’s Rewards program had offered a 25 million dollar reward for information leading to bin Laden's capture and the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transportation Association offered an additional two million dollar reward.
"I had a major hand and play in this wonderful thing, getting him out of the mountains and down to the valleys. Someone had to get him out of there. That’s where I came in," the ABC News quoted Faulkner, as saying.
"I scared the squirrel out of his hole, he popped his head up and he got capped,” said Faulkner.
"I'm proud of our boys, I'm very proud of our government. They were handed this opportunity on a platter from myself," he added.
In June 2010, Faulkner was detained by Pakistani authorities while trying to cross into Afghanistan during his eleventh attempt to track down Osama.
He told police at the time that he was determined to avenge the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Though Faulkner has not been mentioned in the government's detailed account of how the CIA painstakingly tracked down Osama, he said today that it was the publicity surrounding the June incident that pushed Osama out of hiding in Afghanistan mountains.
Faulkner dismisses US officials who said Osama was believed to have lived in million-dollar compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, for as many as six years.
"He hadn''t been living there for no damn six years. I absolutely flushed him out," said Faulkner.
Faulkner also said that his quest to capture bin Laden was never about the money, but now that it's over, he deserves some compensation.
"It wasn't about me. I wanted to bring him to justice. I'm not greedy, but I sold everything I had and I put my life on the line," he said.