What could be a fugitive terrorist’s worst nightmare? Your doppelganger on your trail. So we can only sympathise with Osama bin Laden on learning that Gary Faulkner, from Colorado, armed with a samurai sword and pistol has been nabbed from Chitral, where many intelligence analysts say bin Laden is holed up. The hunter and the huntee are two peas in a pod — both are religious loonies, both are in the construction business, both have beards and both have bad kidneys. The point to be noted for US super sleuths is that this crazy coot from Colorado has washed up in the same area at a fraction of the cost as them.
If Faulkner had been allowed to go unhindered, the Osama hunt could have been over. Imagine the uber terrorist’s discomfiture when Faulkner turns up at his cave quoting the Scriptures to him. The hunter believes that God told him to go on this mission, Osama is a regular interlocutor for the Almighty who seems keen on video-conferencing. Faulkner may be in the net, but who knows how many more, overcome by the desire to meet bin Laden face to face, are out there roaming the Hindu Kush passes. Sooner or later, they will all congregate in the same place and then bin Laden and his lads will have a task on their hands beating them back. The Pentagon’s had a tough time getting to chez bin Laden, so leave it to the teeth-gnashing nutters to look for each other.
We must commend Faulkner once more for his sense
of direction. For the Americans, especially the armed forces, are well known for being locationally challenged, often turning up at the wrong place at the wrong time. A trait made famous in a Monty Python movie in which the Marines land in the backyard of a Birmingham home, frightening the daylights
out of the old couple there by asking them if this was Eyerack. So to all those in search of bin Laden, we say carry on from the Khyber.