Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 10, 2003

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691


FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, met today at FBI Headquarters with representatives of several groups representing the families of individuals killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The group also met with Mary Galligan, the Assistant Inspector in charge of the September 11, 2001 investigation, known as "PENTTBOM," with Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Novak and Robert Spencer, and with Kathryn Turman, head of the FBI's Office of Victim Assistance.

The meeting allowed Director Mueller to personally answer questions and address the victims' families' concerns, and to help them understand the FBI's ongoing role in preventing and investigating acts of terrorism. The group also received updates on the PENTTBOM investigation and heard about changes the FBI has made since September 11, 2001 to help prevent future acts of terrorism.

"The families of those killed on September 11 are very important to the men and women of the FBI, and I welcome the opportunity to meet personally with some of them today," said Director Mueller. "The pain and loss caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, goes far beyond the victims themselves, or their loved ones, friends, colleagues, and the countless individuals whose lives they touched - their loss affects us all."

Director Mueller also took the opportunity to describe the FBI's victim services. Since the September 11 attacks, the FBI has deployed more than 40 Agents and Victim Specialists to assist at various family assistance centers, and provided emergency travel assistance to hundreds of family members. The FBI created a new Office for Victim Assistance in the FBI, elevated the program within the organizational structure, and recruited a senior level specialist with extensive experience working with terrorism victims to run the office. The FBI also sought and received funding to hire 112 full-time Victim Specialists, who are in FBI offices across the country and at Headquarters. These Victim Specialists have assisted with the return of victims' personal effects and continue to do so.

The Director asked family members for their suggestions to assist the FBI's efforts to continuously improve its services to victims. The Director found their insights and suggestions very helpful and looks forward to a continued dialogue.