United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Pattern Analysis and Information Collection System (ICEPIC)

Fact Sheet
January 1, 2008

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ICEPIC Program has been authorized to address the ICE requirement for disrupting and preventing terrorism activities. The mission of ICE is to investigate possible violations of U.S. customs and immigration law as well as identify possible terrorist threats and plots. ICEPIC assists ICE in achieving this mission by helping to identify suspicious identities and discovering possible non-obvious relationships among individuals and organizations. All ICEPIC activity is predicated on valid and ongoing law enforcement investigations.

The program currently includes five main business processes:

  • Receipt of leads, inquiries, referrals, law enforcement and intelligence reports, and queries of ICE and DHS databases to locate relevant records and reports
  • Integration and validation of information from multiple ICE and DHS databases to provide leads for investigation and disruption of potential terrorist activities
  • Initiation and monitoring of investigative cases in ICE field offices
  • Production and dissemination of target indicator profiles and other intelligence
  • Management of program workflows and resources

Paramount to meeting all of the ICEPIC goals is the ability to gather, analyze, distribute, and share intelligence and other information throughout ICE.

History of Program

ICE’s mission is to investigate possible violations of U.S. customs and immigration laws. Many times this involves hours of analysis regarding a particular case or operation. As part of the investigative process analysts and investigators must identify and understand the relationships among individuals, places, and items that are the subject of investigation.

ICE analyzes relationships among individuals using conventional database queries and link analysis tools; however, traditional link analysis tools rely on the consistency of key data, such as names and addresses, to establish relationships. If the source data is of poor quality or an individual seeks to conceal his/her identity through intentional, but subtle, changes to names, addresses, and other biographic information, then conventional tools are less effective at recognizing relationships. As a result, investigators and analysts may miss important relationships among suspects, family members, other associates, organizations, addresses, and vehicles.

ICEPIC allows ICE law enforcement investigators and analysts to look for non-obvious relationship patterns among individuals and organizations that are indicative of violations of the customs and immigration laws that are enforced by DHS agencies, as well as possible terrorist threats and plots. From these relationships, ICE investigators and analysts can develop specific leads and law enforcement intelligence for active and new investigations.

Program Capabilities

Modular set of information analysis tools that allow disparate sources of information to be analyzed to find previously unknown relationship data about individuals who are the subject of ongoing and valid investigations.

  • Relationship data comprises information about how a place, person, or thing (e.g., automobile or other piece of property) relates to other persons, places, or things.
    • For example, ICEPIC can determine relationship data about how certain events occurred at a certain address, or certain individuals under investigation who have shared the same address in the past. ICEPIC capabilities assist investigators in recording results of analyses performed during investigations. All ICEPIC searches are conducted with the appropriate predicate for a search (i.e., ongoing investigation into a violation of law).
  • ICEPIC does not make predictive analysis and presents information that is already available to ICE investigators/analysts, but in an organized fashion and in a manner that highlights connections between information.
  • All search results returned in ICEPIC are directly traceable to their source. Data is not commingled as to allow information to be vague as to its source. Records created by a user in ICEPIC would already be captured by other existing information systems.
  • Given time any investigator/analyst could produce the same relationship data developed in ICEPIC searches; ICEPIC merely automates any relationship or connection data analysis. Relevance of any data to an ongoing investigation is determined by ICE investigator/analysts, not by ICEPIC.
  • ICEPIC does not make determinations or advocate choices of action regarding individuals; investigators/analysts are responsible for making conclusions and taking action, if any, based on their experience and professional judgment.

System Modules

  • Case Management Virtual System – provides a collaborative work area to store information that may be useful in following months or years.
  • Batch Run Capability – capable of running millions of records against millions of records.
  • Individual Queries – is able to search by name/number/address/etc.
  • Non-obvious Links – is able to show connections between entities across databases.
  • Visual Analysis – allows users to create visual links quickly.
  • Investigative Leads – is able to take vague intelligence and make it actionable.