National Security Investigations Division

The National Security Investigations Division (NSID) is a key component of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). NSID leads the effort to identify, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal enterprises and terrorist organizations that threaten the security of the United States.

The following programs comprise NSID. They work together to accomplish the larger mission.


NSID enhances national security through criminal investigations; prevents acts of terrorism by targeting people, money and materials that support terrorist and criminal activities; and identifies and eliminates vulnerabilities in the nation’s border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security.


 John P. Woods, Associate Director National Security Investigations  Division John P. Woods
Assistant Director, National Security Investigations Division

Mr. John P. Woods currently serves as the assistant director for the National Security Investigations Division. The division is part of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and is responsible for investigative, regulatory, and technological programs targeting transnational national security threats arising from illicit travel, trade, and financial enterprises. Mr. Woods has served in this position since April 2009, overseeing 450 people and managing a $160 million operational budget.

Mr. Woods has 26 years of experience in law enforcement. He has spent the majority of that time developing and managing programs for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and HSI.

Previously, Mr. Woods served as the deputy assistant director of the National Security Investigations Division, the unit chief of ICE’s Counterterrorism Unit, and as the assistant special agent in charge of the Miami SAC Office. During his career with INS, he served as a section chief for the Miami District Office. He has also served as a supervisory special agent in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

In 1987, Mr. Woods began his federal law enforcement career in New York City as an INS special agent. He worked significant employer sanctions, fraud and terrorism cases during his field agent tenure. In 1996, Mr. Woods was the recipient of the INS Commissioner’s Award for Quality and Improvement as supervisor of the Worksite Enforcement Unit.  He also worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the subsequent Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman conspiracy prosecution.

Mr. Woods has overseen multiple undercover operations targeting human smuggling and trafficking organizations. During the course of his career he has received two additional INS Commissioner's Awards for overseeing Operation Mission Impossible, a multi-jurisdictional undercover immigration benefit fraud and bribery investigation and prosecution, and his role as the planning and operational chief of Operation Reunion, where Elian Gonzalez was safely and successfully reunited with his father. Mr. Woods has both worked and supervised many other cases that have been recognized by local U.S. attorneys and the attorney general.

Mr. Woods has been instrumental in the development of the Human Rights Violator & War Crimes Center. The center leverages the knowledge and expertise of a select group of special agents, attorneys, intelligence specialists, criminal research specialists and historians at the center. These employees direct the agency's broader enforcement efforts against offenders.  He has also been integrally involved in the Export Enforcement Coordination Center that was established to enhance and strengthen interagency enforcement of export laws and other counter proliferation activities.

Mr. Woods holds a degree from Long Island University, C.W. Post College. He has made several appearances before U.S. congressional committees to provide testimony and has several published articles and speeches on law enforcement topics. 

Related Offices

NSID also includes a variety of units and programs that advance the mission.