"My understanding of the Saudi society is I'm sure they (bin Laden's family) are mourning because for them he is their brother. It is my perception and I''m sure that it must be difficult time for them. They consider him as their brother," bin Laden''s former sister-in-law Carmen Binladin told CNN.
Binladin, who spells her surname differently than Osama, said after 9/11, the family had realised the harm bin Laden had done and they had to distance themselves from him but "blood is thicker than anything and they still consider him as part of the family and part of the bin Ladens." "They are very close knit, emotionally together." Hearing of bin Laden''s death brought back memories of the 9/11 attack for the Swiss-born Binladin, who said the families of the victims "could at last have a sense of justice... It is a relief to be able to know that they will have some kind of closure." She said she remembers bin Laden as a "very religious man. When I was living in Saudi Arabia, he had started going to Afghanistan against the Soviets. I knew he was very religious but at that time in the early 1980s I never thought that he would come and take so many innocent lives." She had "realised very early on" that there was no escape from the bin Laden name either for her or for her daughter, she added.
She said changing her name would not have gone down well with the people who would have said "Oh they were bin Laden, they changed the name." "It has been quite difficult to carry that name. I thought it would be much better to explain what our true feelings and values are." She said she was grateful to the American people for understanding her situation and for being supportive of her and her daughter "despite all of their suffering."