Gary Faulkner , the American who was detained in Pakistan while on a one-man mission to kill Osama bin Laden , is resting back home in Colorado today but told ABC News he plans to return to Pakistan and continue the hunt for the world's most wanted man.
On his way home, an obviously exhausted Faulkner said he is undaunted by critics who maintain that a civilian with no formal training attempting to track down the elusive al Qaeda leader was mission impossible.
"It's not like people think it is I woke up one day and said, 'I've got nothing better to do with my life, why not this?'" he said. "People who think it's unrealistic never get off their couch and [stay] in front of the TV set and the movies and do something with their life."
The 51-year-old was arrested June 13 while attempting to cross into Afghanistan from the mountainous region of northern Pakistan. He was armed with a pistol, sword, night-vision goggles, a map, and was reportedly carrying Christian literature.
When he was arrested, Faulkner told police he was intent on avenging the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks by killing Osama bin Laden.
Faulkner told ABC News he left the 40-inch sword in Pakistan because he said he might need it again after he rests and receives medical treatment for an ailing kidney. For him, killing bin Laden is a "personal endeavor."
"Right now, I'm out of wind," he said. "I need dialysis and some rest. Thank you and for all those who had something negative to say -- sucks to be you."
John Martin, Faulkner's brother-in-law, said Faulkner often talked openly with the family about his plans to hunt down the al Qaeda leader.
"He's a very deeply religious individual, very patriotic," Martin said June 15. "It seemed to be his thing. He thought it should be done, and he thought he could accomplish it."
Bin Laden has evaded one of the largest international manhunts in history and remains on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
Martin said Faulkner was not trained in any way for a seek-and-destroy mission and had no military training, although he had been to the region before. Faulkner's brother Scott said he was trained in martial arts, and a sword and dagger were his "weapons of choice."
"We initially laughed when he told us he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden," one official, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, told The Associated Press after the arrest.
While undertaking such a mission -- traveling to hostile territory, with no training, to find the most wanted man on the planet -- may have seemed ridiculous to many, Faulkner's brother said he had made several trips to the area to reconnoiter bin Laden's possible location and believed he had found the cave where he believed the al Qaeda leader was hiding.
Scott Faulkner said last week that his brother had "stood at its entrance, possibly within 100 feet," of the cave.
While Faulkner was likely aware of the hefty $25 million reward for information leading to bin Laden's arrest, Martin said the cause was more important to his brother-in-law.
"The inspiration was more important to him than the money," Martin said.
Since his arrest, a battery of Facebook groups popped up in Faulkner's honor, including Faulkner for President, Gary Brooks Faulkner Is My Favorite Working Class Ninja and Gary Faulkner, American Patriot.
Faulkner's Family: Gary is 'Waking America Back Up
A relative of Faulkner's told ABC News Wednesday the family planned to have him medically examined before holding a homecoming celebration.
Faulkner called his brother, Dr. Scott Faulkner, shortly after he was released. Pakistani authorities did not press charges.
"He said he was treated well, but he can't wait to get back to the good ol' U.S. of A.," Scott Faulkner told ABC News.
Scott Faulkner said that while in captivity, his brother did not have access to any media and was unaware of the onslaught of attention his case had garnered.
One family member told ABC News that while no one could predict Faulkner's reaction to instant celebrity, "it should be fun."
Scott Faulkner told reporters last week that even if he'd died during his dangerous mission, Gary Faulkner would have "loved" the media attention.
"It's waking America back up. ... The fact that it's bringing it back in the forefront of the American psyche, now there's hopefully going to be a renewed effort to get this guy [bin Laden]," Scott Faulkner said.
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