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How Close Was the Guy Who Tried to Kill Osama with a Sword Last Year?

When an amateur bounty hunter was arrested on a hunt for Osama in June of last year, he actually wasn't too far away from his target.

You may remember Gary Faulkner as the American construction worker who last year was arrested in the mountains of Pakistan armed with a sword and night-vision goggles. Faulkner told police he was there to "behead" renowned terrorist Osama bin Laden, even though he himself had never had any proper combat training, fencing or otherwise. Today, with bin Laden dead, we calculated how close Faulkner actually got to capturing the most wanted man in the world: About 270 miles.


Faulkner was arrested in the Chitral District in northern Pakistan, where the mountainous terrain would have been perfect for an Osama hideout. In fact, it's so perfect that for a long time many experts believed it contained a secret bin Laden cave, which is probably where Faulkner got the idea. Today, however, we know bin Laden was in Abbottabad, a quaint little village about a seven hours' drive southeast of Chitral. And because new information suggests he'd been staying there for about six years, it seems likely that Faulkner was once about as close to his target as Los Angeles is to San Francisco. It's not like Faulkner was ever on bin Laden's doorstep, but, considering that he was an ex-con on his first bounty hunt, his effort wasn't too shabby.

Never underestimate an ambitious man with a huge sword.