Although US officials have largely played down the importance of catching Mr. bin Laden in the war against terror, a 2009 assessment by the director of national intelligence revealed that American drone aircraft were still hunting the Al Qaeda strongman, specifically around Pakistani border areas like the province of Chitral.
It was in that area that Pakistani police earlier this year detained Gary Brooks Faulkner, an American who said he had slipped away to hunt bin Laden. He was armed with a gun, a sword, and Christian literature. US authorities have put a $50 million bounty on bin Laden's head.
Rifaat Hussain, a security analyst at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, told the Monitor earlier this year, “We haven’t seen any fresh intelligence suggesting where [bin Laden]’s possible hide-outs are.”
Mr. Faulkner was subsequently returned to the United States without having to face charges in Pakistan, but he is planning a return to the area in late August, according to the website Mediaite. "[H]ow can you not admire a man single-handedly taking on the head of Al-Qaeda with a giant sword?" Mediaite writes.