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Fact Sheet - International Affairs Division

May, 2018
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Fast Facts

  1. The IAD supervises and coordinates the activities of ATF international offices to support international arms trafficking investigation initiatives and the nation’s homeland security efforts.

  2. ATF international activities include advancing criminal investigations through information sharing and intelligence gathering, and providing support through training and technical assistance to international law enforcement and governments.

The mission of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) International Affairs Division (IAD) is to direct, facilitate and coordinate ATF international activities. Current activities include advancing criminal investigations through information sharing and intelligence gathering; providing support through training and technical assistance to international law enforcement and governments; coordinating ATF activities with other U.S. government and international counterparts; and serving as the ATF and Department of Justice (DOJ) advisor for multilateral arms agreements and treaties.

IAD supervises and coordinates the activities of ATF international offices to support international arms trafficking investigation initiatives and the nation’s homeland security efforts. They educate law enforcement and international officials about ATF firearms tracing and investigative capabilities. The division serves as the coordination point for international requests for ATF’s assistance or information regarding ATF programs.

IAD supports the U.S. government’s participation in multinational working groups to stem the flow of international firearms trafficking.  It conducts international firearms trafficking assessments and firearms trafficking studies concerning other nations. IAD processes applications for official passports and visas and prepares country clearances for ATF foreign travel.

Two rows of flags from different countries
Two rows of flags from different countries.

IAD has personnel stationed in ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., and around the world. ATF IAD headquarters personnel include an international firearms agreement advisor, program managers supporting international training and personnel recovery, country-specific program managers, and program and management analysts.

ATF attaché offices work directly in-country and regionally, when applicable, to assist the host nation and other countries in the region with law enforcement issues and facilitate a cooperative working relationship.

ATF attachés stationed in international offices serve as the primary ATF representative in the host country for all matters within ATF jurisdiction. They are often called upon to assist, either, with ATF international investigations, technical queries and host nation or regional requests for tracing or training. The following is a list of ATF international postings:

Canada Offices

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Toronto, Ontario

Mexico Offices

  • Mexico City
  • Monterey, Nuevo Leon
  • Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
  • Tijuana, Baja California

Central/South America Regional Office (based in San Salvador and covers):

  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • Belize
  • Colombia
Caribbean Offices
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Kingston, Jamaica

European Offices

  • Interpol in Lyon, France
  • Europol at The Hague in the Netherlands

ATF, working with the Department of State and other domestic agencies, provides a variety of law enforcement assets and expertise such as:

  • Shared intelligence and other information in order to defeat criminal organizations.
  • Investigative assistance including interviews and statements from witnesses in the U.S., surveillance and other follow up enforcement action in the U.S., as well as joint investigative activity involving gangs, transnational crime and terrorism under ATF jurisdiction.
  • The International Response Team (IRT), which investigates major international arson and explosives incidents at the request of the Department of State and an allied or partner nation.
  • Technical assistance,  including firearms and ballistic tracing; experts in law enforcement disciplines such as certified explosives specialists (CES) and arson investigators; explosives and accelerant detection canines; access to firearms and explosives databases such as eTrace and the Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS); and forensics and the Fire Research Laboratory.
  • Training in firearms and explosives identification; serial number restoration; post blast and canine training; firearms and tobacco trafficking schools; and training in databases.

 

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