Assisting Victims of International Terrorism
Once an event is determined to be an act of terrorism and a case is opened, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for coordinating and providing assistance to victims and their families as soon as possible after the crime occurs.
The FBI Office for Victim Assistance—
- Coordinates with the U.S. Department of State to ensure that the remains of murdered victims of terrorism are returned to the United States for autopsy by the U.S. Government.
- Discusses postmortem concerns with family members.
- Assists injured victims with medical evacuation and their families with emergency travel.
- Provides information about compensation.
- Arranges for preparation and return of remains to families following autopsy.
- Arranges for the cleaning and return of personal effects to victims' families.
OVC and the FBI have established the Crime Victim Assistance Emergency Fund for Victims of Terrorism and/or Mass Violence. The purpose of the emergency fund is to assist U.S. nationals, or U.S. Government employees and their families, who are victims of terrorism or mass violence occurring outside the United States. The emergency fund, derived from the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve, is not intended to create a separate system of services for victims but rather to support services for victims who are in immediate need of assistance when no other resources are available.
In addition, the U.S. Congress has amended the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 by authorizing an International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) so victims of acts of international terrorism, as determined by the Attorney General and occurring abroad on or after December 21, 1988, may receive reimbursement for specific expenses associated with that victimization. In order to qualify for this benefit, you must be a U.S. national or a U.S. Government officer or employee. The law requires that the individual victim must have “suffered direct physical or emotional injury or death as a result of an act of international terrorism” [42 U.S.C. § 10603c (a)(3)(A)(i)]. Victims may be eligible for reimbursement of medical costs, mental health costs, property loss, funeral and burial costs, and miscellaneous expenses.
Office for Victim Assistance
OVC International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program
February 2006 Report to Congress