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July 27, 2006

ICE in Iraq

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plays a vital role in securing our homeland - within our country’s borders, through the work of ICE attaché offices overseas, and by extending efforts to locations such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Before hostilities began in Iraq, ICE deployed agents to the Middle East at the request of the U.S. Central Command. Embedded within U.S. military units, the ICE team focused its investigations on entities that had illegally provided weapons components and financial support to Iraq. With the fall of the Iraqi regime, ICE’s objectives broadened to include a variety of missions with the intent to facilitate a stable and free Iraq, capable of self-governance.

Efforts in Iraq included recovery of missing Iraqi artifacts, tracking down Saddam Hussein’s assets, discovery of missiles in Iraq, tracking senior Iraqi government fugitives and port assessments to determine vulnerabilities and enhance security.

  • ICE worked with the U.S. military and curators from the National Museum in Baghdad to recover missing museum artifacts. To date, roughly 1,000 missing Iraqi artifacts and 39,500 manuscripts have been recovered.

  • ICE played a key role in the recovery of Saddam Hussein’s assets. To date, ICE has traced $32 million in U.S. currency to the regime of Saddam Hussein and $800 million worth of U.S. currency that was seized by coalition forces in Iraq.

  • ICE developed independent sources of information that resulted in the discovery of a total of 75 missiles in Iraq that could have been used against coalition forces. ICE also developed several leads on potential illegal shipments of weapons components and dual-use equipment to Iraq from other nations.

  • ICE assisted the U.S. military with locating several wanted senior officials from the regime of Saddam Hussein and assisted in debriefing captured senior Iraqi officials for information on Saddam Hussein’s weapons system and finances.

In addition to efforts within ICE, more than 100 ICE employees were called to active duty with their National Guard and Reserve units, and most of these were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Several were wounded in battle, and one was killed in action near Baghdad. These employees worked to establish and strengthen relationships with Iraqi citizens, assist in combat operations, rebuilt infrastructure, and assist with security measures.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

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