BOSTON (Reuters) - Abdullah Mohammed Binladin, among the youngest of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s 50 surviving siblings, reiterated his family's condemnation of the man suspected of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in an interview with The Boston Globe published on Sunday.
``Our name is being hijacked,'' he told the Globe in an interview at his Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment. ``It is a big family. There is a black sheep in every big family.''
Abdullah, 35, has spent much of the last decade living in the Boston area earning a master's and doctoral degrees in law from Harvard University.
All 11 other Binladin relatives in the Boston area, Abdullah's nieces and nephews boarded a chartered Saudi jet and left Boston on Sept. 19, he said, adding that most of the family uses the Binladin spelling.
The last time he saw Osama bin Laden was in 1988 at their brother Salem's funeral, he said. By that time, Osama had already strayed far from the family's $5 billion construction empire.
``He had been living most of the time in Afghanistan (news - web sites),'' said Abdullah. ``I personally didn't know him very well.'' ''It is my understanding that in the 1990s the family repeatedly reached out and made attempts to plead with Osama to moderate his views,'' Abdullah told the newspaper. ``After these attempts failed, there was a reluctant but unanimous consensus that Osama should be disowned.''
Abdullah has made Cambridge his home, but since the attacks that left nearly 5,600 dead and wounded some 6,000 more he told the paper he has retreated to his apartment, shunned strangers, avoided using credit cards and given up jogging along the Charles River.
The Binladin connection Boston began when one of his older brothers came to the city to study civil engineering in the early '70s. Another brother came in the late '80s to study at Northeastern University.
The family has given large sums of money to both Harvard and Tufts Universities. They have funded another fellowship program at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. And every year, the Saudi Binladin Group donates tens of thousands of dollars to the Middle East Policy Council, which helps train educators on how to teach about the Middle East and Islam.
``I totally support my family's statement that expressed condolences and deepest sympathy for the victims of the attack and unequivocally denounced and condemned the attacks and all those behind them,'' Abdullah told the paper in a separate written statement.
``I also affirm that the Binladin family and the Saudi Binladin Group have no relationship whatsoever with Osama or any of his activities. He shares no legal or beneficial interests with them or their assets or properties, and he is not directly or indirectly funded by them.''