Colorado's reputation as a breeding ground for gun-toting xenophobes and religious fanatics got a nice boost today when a Greeley man -- armed with a pistol, a forty-inch sword and some hashish -- was detained in northern Pakistan after he tried to cross over into Afghanistan and avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks by killing Osama Bin Laden.
For Gary Brooks Faulkner, a devout 51-year-old Christian, the mission was simple: He planned to succeed where a $25 million bounty and massive international manhunt has failed.
"God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing him," Faulkner allegedly told intelligence officials in Peshawar, Pakistan, according to the Associated Press.
A worthy cause for sure. But difficult. Still, he was also armed with night-vision goggles and Christian literature. And his tale is another chapter in Colorado kooky connections to terror.
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We can also claim Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, aka "Jihad Jamie." She's the Leadville woman with lofty aspirations of joining Al Qeada and conspiring to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist who drew an illustration of the prophet Mohammed. After being arrested in Ireland and brought back to the U.S. in April, she was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist group.
"Jihad Jaimie," who was also the subject of a Kenny Be comic, faces a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
And then there's Najibullah Zazi, the Aurora man and Denver International Airport shuttle driver, who was indicted on terrorism charges in September 2009 for his role in a plot to bomb New York City. Zazi has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will be tried in New York.
Zazi's father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, was also arrested in connection with the failed plot and pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to FBI investigators about his son's involvement.