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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

DS History: Today

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, DS has played an active role in overseas contingency operations. With more than 1,900 special agents assigned to diplomatic missions in 157 countries, DS is the most widely represented American security and law enforcement organization around the world. Our agents have forged solid relationships with foreign police and security services worldwide. Through this global network of international law enforcement contacts, we have been able to identify, arrest, and prosecute potential terrorist suspects before they reach American shores. 


DS criminal investigations into passport and visa fraud--felonies often committed in connection with other more serious crimes, including international terrorism--help secure American borders and protect the American people and the national security of the United States.


The DS coordinated Rewards for Justice Program continues to aggressively advertise reward offers that prevent, frustrate, or resolve acts of terrorism against U.S. interests or bring terrorists to justice. Through our global advertising campaigns, our message has reached millions of people and put potential sources of information in every place a terrorist might try to hide or operate.


Another DS-led effort, the Antiterrorism Assistance Program, provides terrorism-focused police training to civilian security personnel from friendly governments. More than 31,000 students from 127 countries have received ATA training in the last 20 years. These students return to their countries better prepared to fight terrorism and protect Americans overseas during a crisis. 


In addition, DS continues to work closely with other elements in the State Department, the Administration, the Congress, and foreign governments on embassy security issues. Our programs now encompass all security aspects of life overseas. While DS has taken steps to enhance the security of all our diplomatic facilities, we are committed to meeting the evolving challenges of today to ensure the safety of our people, facilities, and information throughout the world. 

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Date: 11/07/2011 Description: DS History images - State Dept Image

History of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security

Explore the origins and read about the people and key moments of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security as presented in this official, comprehensive history.


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