10 Questions For Yeslam Bin Ladin

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The bin Laden name has become infamous, but one family member is trying to give it a different odor. Osama's older half brother (they share the same father) has just put his name on a new perfume, a jasmine-heavy scent dubbed Yeslam. Bin Ladin (his spelling), a resident of Geneva who has dual Swiss-Saudi citizenship, spoke with TIME's Scott MacLeod in Paris.

Aren't people going to say, "Come on, a perfume from Osama's brother"? I'm not only a bin Laden. I am Yeslam bin Ladin. I have my own identity. It is my perfume, my creation. I was about to do it several years ago, but then I had to stop because of the events of Sept. 11. I expect people out of curiosity will try it, and they will find the smell out of this world.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OSAMA's LATEST VIDEOTAPE?

It was upsetting.

It's the violence. It wasn't a surprise to know that he was still alive. I always thought that if he was killed, everybody would know it. It seems that he might have seen the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 9/11.

WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING A BIN LADEN AFTER 9/11?

Very difficult. I had to defend myself. The Attorney General of Switzerland decided to come one day uninvited. He took away cartons and cartons of documents. I understand that after Sept. 11 there was lots of suspicion and that everybody wanted to check everything. The investigation has finished, the file has been closed, and nothing was ever found.

IS IT HARD TO MAKE PLANE OR RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS?

Luckily, when you go out in public, nobody knows who you are. You walk the street like everybody. I've heard comments when I make reservations. If I am going to have lunch with somebody, the reservations would be in his name.

IS OSAMA STILL CONSIDERED PART OF THE FAMILY?

I think every person is responsible for his acts. If somebody has done something that is illegal, nobody on earth will help him or stand by him. The family will not be responsible for the acts of one of its members.

WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

He was more religious than the rest of us.

He was one of the very few who did not leave Saudi Arabia to study. I don't know him very well. I think I saw him before he left [for Afghanistan in the 1980s], and I haven't seen him since. The only memory is that he didn't want music on in the house. He wanted it off. It wasn't "ethical." I thought that was weird.

ANY BROTHERLY FEELINGS?

It has become a name in a newspaper. The story has become ink on paper.

WHAT ABOUT MICHAEL MOORE'S COMPLAINT—THAT LOTS OF BIN LADENS FLED THE U.S. AFTER 9/11 WITHOUT BEING QUESTIONED PROPERLY BY THE FBI?

They did not feel welcome anymore in the U.S. at that time. I want you to put yourself in their shoes. Many senior members of the family were interviewed by the U.S. authorities prior to 9/11. [Those authorities] knew everything about the family before. I have been interviewed by the U.S. authorities.

DO ANY BIN LADENS STILL SUPPORT OR SYMPATHIZE WITH OSAMA?

I don't think so. What he has done hurts the family. Financially, if somebody wants to work with you, they think twice. I have been investigated for the past three years because of that. Should ever anybody help him, that person will be responsible for his actions.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE 9/11 ATTACKS?

Innocent life is sacred.

I was shocked. My mother that evening fell ill with the news.