FBI contacts victim of Palestinian terror bombing in Jerusalem

The FBI’s Victim Services Division emailed Naomi Pilichowski’s parents and said she may have been the victim of a federal crime.

 Police and security personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Jerusalem, on November 23, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Police and security personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Jerusalem, on November 23, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The FBI has contacted the family of Naomi Pilichowski, an American-Israeli who was wounded in the Jerusalem terrorist bombing last week.

Pilichowski, 18, was at the bus stop outside the Givat Shaul neighborhood, heading to Beit Shemesh to do her national service, when the bomb exploded. She was evacuated to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, where she was treated for light wounds and released the same day.

The FBI’s Victim Services Division emailed Pilichowski’s parents on Monday and said Naomi has been identified as a potential victim of a federal crime. The FBI said it was looking to investigate the crime.

“The FBI investigates suspected terrorist events that occur overseas in which American citizens are victims.”

FBI

“The FBI investigates suspected terrorist events that occur overseas in which American citizens are victims,” the e-mail said. “The ability for the FBI to conduct a full investigation will be dependent upon the cooperation of the sovereign government in that country. The investigation of overseas crimes can be a complex and lengthy process, therefore we appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.”

The FBI offered to provide the family with assistance they might need, and most of the email was about Pilichowski’s rights as a potential victim of a federal crime.

 Naomi Pilichowski (center) is seen with her parents, Uri and Aliza. The 18-year-old American Israeli was among those injured in the Jerusalem terrorist bombing on November 23, 2022. (credit: Courtesy) Naomi Pilichowski (center) is seen with her parents, Uri and Aliza. The 18-year-old American Israeli was among those injured in the Jerusalem terrorist bombing on November 23, 2022. (credit: Courtesy)

Pilichowski moved to Israel eight years ago. She is the daughter of Mitzpe Yeriho Mayor Aliza Pilichowski and Rabbi Uri Pilichowski, a well-known American-Israeli educator who works at Nefesh B’Nefesh.

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted soon after the attack that he thanked God the daughter of his “pal,” Rabbi Pilichowski, will be fine after the terrorist attack, and he sent prayers to all who were affected.

Pilichowski said he did not welcome an FBI investigation into the attack in which his daughter was wounded.

“I don’t want the FBI to investigate [the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh] and I don’t want the FBI to investigate this. We’re a sovereign country.”

Rabbi Uri Pilichowski

“It’s a huge mistake for the FBI to get involved,” he said. “I don’t want the FBI to investigate [the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh], and I don’t want the FBI to investigate this. We’re a sovereign country.”

FBI investigation of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh

Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice notified Israel’s Justice Ministry that the FBI would be investigating the killing of Al Jazeera journalist and US citizen Abu Akleh, who was shot in an exchange of fire between Israeli security forces and Palestinian terrorists in May.

An IDF investigation found in September that Abu Akleh was likely unintentionally shot by a soldier. Though the probe was conducted in conjunction with US investigators, the FBI decided to investigate.

Israel said it would not cooperate with the investigation. Defense Minister Benny Gantz told American interlocutors that Israel would not stand for the US calling into question the professionalism and transparency of the IDF.

There was a public uproar in Israel over the investigation, and many questioned whether the FBI would do the same for Israeli-American victims of terrorism.

Stephen Flatow, whose daughter Alisa was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995, wrote an article in The Jerusalem Post this week in which he called on the FBI to investigate the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. It was the “intentional attempted murder of a Jewish American citizen in Israel,” he wrote, adding that the reason is that the Palestinian Authority protects terrorists, and such an investigation would interfere with the Biden administration’s goal to have closer relations with the PA.