printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Introductory Letter From Assistant Secretary Griffin

February 1, 2007


December 5, 2006

Picture of Ambassador Richard J. Griffin.In accordance with the requirements of Section 7218 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), I am pleased to submit the Visa and Passport Security Strategic Plan of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS).

As the law enforcement entity in the Department of State, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security upholds the integrity of U.S. visa and passport documents through the enforcement of Chapter 75 (Passports and Visas) of the U.S. Criminal Code, including our visa and passport fraud statutes. The Special Agents of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security conduct criminal investigations into passport and visa violations throughout the Department's foreign diplomatic missions and domestic issuance facilities. Overseas, DS Special Agents work with our foreign partner nations to target and disrupt document fraud rings and human smuggling networks. In the homeland, our agents work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate, arrest, and prosecute document fraud violators. Through this global network of law enforcement professionals, DS Special Agents are on the frontlines of combating terrorist travel.

To illustrate the magnitude of the fraudulent travel document challenge that must be confronted to protect the homeland, I would like to draw your attention to DS's investigative efforts in Surabaya, Indonesia. Over the past two years, the DS Regional Security Office in Surabaya has solicited the cooperation of Indonesian law enforcement authorities to curb the availability of illegally obtained and counterfeit identification documents. The ensuing joint DS and Indonesian operation resulted in 20 police raids in Surabaya and Bali. These raids generated 84 arrests, 6 fugitive extraditions to the United States, and shut down 20 vendors of fraudulent documents. Criminal charges filed include such violations as human trafficking, prostitution, child pornography, and pedophilia. It is estimated that these vendors were used by more than 8,000 individuals seeking fraudulent documentation. Most disturbing was the discovery that these document rings were used by members of the Indonesian terrorist group, Jamal Islamyia, to obtain counterfeit identification documents. Included in the appendix of the Plan is a case overview of Operation Triple X, detailing the successes of DS's investigative efforts and partnership with Indonesian law enforcement.

The Surabaya case, Operation Triple X, is but one example of individuals and groups around the world that seek to manipulate and exploit vulnerabilities within the travel document system. As federal law enforcement's most expansive global organization, DS is uniquely positioned and committed to meet this challenge. To achieve success, DS has crafted a Strategic Plan that leverages our international expertise and presence and focuses on the key components of aggressive enforcement action, coordinated intelligence efforts, and foreign capacity building. This strategy provides the framework for a worldwide Visa and Passport Security Program and will augment significantly the Department's efforts to identify, disrupt, and target terrorist travel.

Implementation of the Department's Visa and Passport Security Program will be dependent upon significant new resources and the global deployment of additional DS Special Agents, intelligence analysts, Foreign Service national investigators, and support staff. Within three years, DS will have dedicated Special Agents combating terrorist travel, document fraud, and human smuggling and trafficking at 200 overseas posts. I am committed to fulfilling the strategy's vision and look forward to working with Congress to obtain the personnel and resources essential for the Program's success.


Richard J. Griffin
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Diplomatic Security 


Table of Contents

Mission Statement | Introductory Letter From Assistant Secretary Griffin | The Bureau of Diplomatic Security: A Brief History | Visa and Passport Fraud: An Overview | Introduction | Strategic Goal 1 | Strategic Goal 2 | Strategic Goal 3 | Conclusion | Appendix: Operation Triple X

Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.