The U.S. Departments of Justice and State formally established the Victims of Terrorism Abroad (VTA) Task Force in September 2007, in compliance with a Congressional report. The VTA Task Force’s goals are:
- To ensure that the U.S. government response to U.S. citizen victims of terrorist attacks abroad continues to be a high priority within our agencies;
- To coordinate the U.S. government response to U.S. citizen victims of terrorism attacks abroad, especially in attacks involving multiple victims, to ensure efficiency, prevent redundancy, and provide victims with timely, compassionate assistance; and
- To ensure that victims receive the rights and services mandated by Federal law. These rights and services include: (1) information and crisis intervention services in a timely manner in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack; (2) information on available assistance, including the International Terrorism Victims Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP), and other forms of financial assistance and mental health counseling; and (3) information on the status of the investigation and any related criminal justice proceedings.
The VTA Task Force consists of representatives from the U.S. Departments of Justice and State who fulfill policy development, investigatory, prosecutorial, and victim-related responsibilities when an act of international terrorism affecting U.S. citizens occurs overseas. The VTA Task Force meets regularly to discuss emergent issues affecting U.S. citizen victims of acts of international terrorism as well as ongoing departmental efforts to meet the VTA Task Force’s goals.
Suggestions for VTA Task Force Meetings