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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


February 1, 2007


Develop and Deliver a Fraudulent Travel Document Course

In 2005, the ATA program, in partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Forensic Document Laboratory (ICE/FDL), fulfilled the legislative requirements of the IRTPA by developing a Fraudulent Travel Document (FTD) training course. This course provides eligible foreign countries with training in identifying and detecting the most common forms of fraudulent photo substitutions, page substitutions, data alterations, and other forms of counterfeiting.

The FTD curriculum strives to promote the concept of sustainability in our partner nations by "training the trainer" and focuses on foreign partner police authorities, customs and immigration inspectors, training officials, and forensic specialists responsible for examining international travel documents. The course emphasizes the need for foreign partners to properly examine and detect fraudulent travel documents; establish a chain of custody to properly secure and protect evidence for criminal prosecutions; and facilitate the exchange of law enforcement information. Through a wide range of classroom instruction and practical exercises, participants are taught how to quickly examine and evaluate key document security features of international travel documents, visas, birth certificates, and supporting documentation. The course gives trainers the opportunity to provide recommendations that help partner nations secure document laboratories and evidence facilities, improve information sharing, and establish fraud-alert systems.

This country-based course provides overseas training to foreign partners and is a cost-effective alternative to providing training in the United States. An important benefit of this effort is the specialized training ATA personnel have received from ICE to conduct focused in-country needs assessments. The information collected by ATA assessments is coordinated with ICE to tailor material best suited for the specific needs of each partner nation. This course also provides a grant for the purchase of low-cost tools to assist in the detection of fraudulent travel documents.

The joint DS and ICE/FDL development and implementation of the FTD course demonstrates the benefits of interagency cooperation and serves as the international counterpart to DHS's domestic document-fraud training for local, state, and federal law enforcement. The success of this program requires that course materials continue to evolve to ensure that accurate and appropriate training materials and advanced courses are developed and provided to foreign partners. Limiting factors such as funding and staff levels will need to be remedied in order to expand the provision of the FTD course to additional foreign partners. DS constantly prioritizes eligible foreign recipients based on their specific needs, ATA assessments, and evaluations from overseas criminal investigators. The addition of the FTD training course to the International Law Enforcement Academies' catalog has broadened its reach to new audiences and complements the academies' Transnational Terrorism Training Course.

Provide Technical Assistance to Eligible Foreign Partners

Minor technical grants currently are being provided to foreign partners in conjunction with FTD in-country course offerings. Through ATA previsit survey teams and ICE/FDL evaluation, proposals for equipment grants for each recipient nation are prepared based on an assessment of needs and the availability of ATA funds. DS will expand this evaluation process to include a comprehensive review that will identify and prioritize foreign partners' training and technical assistance needs. These reviews will incorporate both ATA and ICE/FDL assessments and input from DS overseas criminal investigators and CA to ensure that all foreign partners are provided with the appropriate level and quantity of technical assistance. In addition, DS and CA will work with foreign partners in strengthening their technical travel document security features and issuance controls, making it more difficult for terrorists and criminals to obtain fraudulent travel documents.

Seek Designated Foreign Assistance Funding for Training and Technical Assistance Programs

Through the Department's Director of Foreign Assistance, DS will seek to establish a designated amount of foreign assistance funding to provide fiscal support for fraudulent document training and technical assistance to eligible foreign partners. Current budget constraints and the dearth of dedicated funding have limited the delivery of the FTD course and provision of technical assistance to foreign partners. Increased designated funding will allow for an expansion of essential training and technical assistance to key foreign partners that are engaged in combating terrorist travel and document fraud.

Strengthen Foreign Partners' Terrorist Travel Legislation Efforts

Training and technical assistance are valuable assets used by foreign partners to investigate and arrest terrorists and criminals. However, assistance efforts alone cannot bring about success if government and legal institutions are not committed to-and capable of-confronting threats from terrorism. It is imperative that foreign partners' attempts to combat terrorist travel are not compromised by corruption, absence of laws or legal authorities, overwhelmed legal systems, and/or the absence of political will. Through the assessment process, DS will identify foreign partners that are susceptible to factors that may potentially undermine training and technical assistance. In conjunction with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, DS will seek to eliminate foreign partners' legal vulnerabilities and strengthen institutions necessary to combat terrorist travel.

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 

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