Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org.
This past month we have seen many reminders of the impact of 9/11 in the press. March marked the beginning of the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, where a jury will sentence him to death or life imprisonment. Several family members have viewed full or part of the trial on closed caption televisions that the Department of Justice arranged at courthouses in Manhattan; Philadelphia; Boston; Massachusetts; Central Islip, New York; and Newark New Jersey. FOS11 continues to follow the trial and make information available on the website. We will also host an online chat after the conclusion of the trial (see below).
Regardless of your position on these high-profile issues, they can pose some real challenges by stirring up many physical and emotional reactions. As we continue to face these complex issues, we encourage you to find ways to care for yourself, and hope that you find support with loved ones. We also remind you that there are still many resources available that offer free services, such as the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program (see below), and others some of which are listed on our website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/resources.aspx. Additionally, the National Mental Health Association has issued several helpful fact sheets on disasters and terrorism including Understanding Your Mental Health In Times of War and Terrorism, this and others can be found at http://www.nmha.org/reassurance/anniversary/index.cfm.
To follow these stories and learn about other issues, visit our In the News section on the FOS11 website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/news.aspx.
Last week the trial suffered a delay when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) attorney, Carla Martin violated the judge’s order when she emailed trial transcripts and her personal commentary on the trial to upcoming witnesses. She also told the defense that the witnesses, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, were not willing to talk with Moussaoui’s lawyers, which was not true. The Department of Justice is planning to begin an investigation into Martin’s actions.
This week the trial has resumed with testimony from Harry Samit, the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui. Testimony was also heard from Moussaoui’s roommate. The government is trying to prove that Moussaoui’s lies to the FBI caused the deaths of our loved ones, while Moussaoui’s lawyers are trying to prove that he was not part of the 9/11 plot, and that the government was not capable of preventing it with the knowledge he had. If the government proves its case and the jury agrees (which could take weeks or months), the next step is for the jury to decide if the death penalty should be applied.
Families of September 11 will do our best to keep you informed on this case as it develops.
Terrorist Screening Center
Statement of Donna A. Bucella, Director, Terrorist Screening Center
"Our history is divided into two eras, pre-and post-September 11, 2001. As a result of the horrific events of that day, government agencies were immediately created, restructured or had their responsibilities refocused. It became clearly evident that all United States government agencies needed to work more closely together.
On September 16, 2003, The President announced the creation of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) through Presidential Directive 6. The Center was required to begin operations on December 1, 2003, and became the single coordination point for screening terrorist identities. The TSC, which is administered by the FBI, has participation from the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the Intelligence community.
Operating on a 24/7 basis, the TSC is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the United States government’s list of all known and suspected terrorists. This list was consolidated on March 12, 2004, and is available to our cops on the beat, our inspectors at the border and our embassies worldwide. Depending on the mission of the agency, the TSC makes available the watchlist to the various agency system.
In the case of a police inquiry, when an individual is arrested or pulled over at a routine traffic stop, the officer queries the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database which accesses the watchlist. Now, a local police officer will know if the person is a known or suspected terrorist. At the TSC, we are the link between the law enforcement and intelligence community.
Our mission is to coordinate the government’s approach to screening terrorism. In addition, we have begun to work with foreign governments on facilitating information sharing. Our staff works diligently in spreading the word about its mission both nationally and internationally. The law enforcement officers know about the TSC, and facilitate the sharing of information gathered during routine local traffic stops. This information collected is shared with both federal law enforcement and the intelligence community. Only two years old, the TSC has much to do, but on behalf of the TSC, I wanted you to know that our government is on the right road in opening the lines of communication within law enforcement and intelligence communities."
Japanese Public Television
If you are interested in participating or learning more about the project, contact Karen Regen by email at email@example.com.
Online Chat Program
Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, facilitates the chats. Chat topics reflect requests from members of previous chats or current events in the news. However, chat conversations tend to include the topic as well as other issues that members are experiencing at the time. Several chat participants have shared their appreciation of the chat program and many return to participate in later chats. To learn more about the chat program visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat.aspx .
The next chat is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th from 8-9pm EST and the topic is 9/11 Famlies: A House Divided, A House Created. After a tragedy such as 9/11, families go through all kinds of changes. This can help to bring people together, or it can make it a real challenge to keep relations close. This chat is open to members who have found successful ways to keep family and friends together after 9/11, and to those who are trying to make it work. To enroll in the next chat, click on http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat2/membership_form.asp?chatID=0 and follow the steps. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (212)575-1878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Shortly following the conclusion of the Moussaoui sentencing trial, FOS11 will host an online chat to discuss reactions to the trial outcome. An action alert will be emailed to make you aware of the date/time.
Our Voices Together’s Build a Safer, More Compassionate World Forums at Universities
Our Voices Together invites family members and friends to join in this effort. Please contact them about an opportunity to participate in a forum at your alma mater, that of your loved one, or at a university in your current community. Please see www.ourvoicestogether.org or contact Marianne Scott, Executive Director, Our Voices Together, via email at email@example.com.
Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events: http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/calendar.aspx
Support Groups for Those who are Grieving and Healing
Walking Tour Program
Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Workshops
The CURE program has been specially designed for individuals who have been affected by the 9/11 attacks. This program is not a treatment for PTSD, depression, or other psychological conditions that resulted from 9/11; however, staff can assist in finding treatment for persons in need of more intensive professional help. To learn more about workshops and dates visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/eventdetail.aspx?id=1118.
The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
Additional preparedness websites can be found on the FOS11 website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/resources.aspx?s=23.
FOS11 offers a wrist band, in hope for a better future. Click here to learn more.