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James Davis, Ex-FBI Agent Who Helped Process Saddam Hussein After His Capture, Died Unexpectedly

FBI Agent James Davis helping process Iraq leader Saddam Hussein after he was captured.

By Steve Neavling

James Davis, the former FBI agent who led the team that processed Saddam Hussein after his capture in Iraq and later led the Denver Field Office, has died. 

Davis was walking his dog when he had a heart attack Friday morning, The Denver Post reports

A Detroit native, Davis began his career with the FBI in 1985. After serving as assistant special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, Davis served as the deputy on-scene commander of the bureau’s Baghdad Operations Center in Iraq, where he was responsible for overseeing post-war counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations from November 2003 to December 2004.

In December 2003, when Hussein was captured from an underground hiding spot, Davis led the team that questioned, fingerprinted and collected DNA samples from the former Iraqi dictator.

“He shook. He was just a sick, old man,” Davis said in the 2008 interview. “He was just coughing. He was not healthy and he had not eaten well.”

Davis went on to serve as the on-scene commander for the FBI in Afghanistan from December 2004 to February 2005, leading the bureau’s operations to hunt down al Qaeda operatives. 

In March 2008, Davis was named special agent in charge of the Denver Field Office. 

After 26 years with the FBI, Davis became the public safety and homeland security advisor in Colorado, where he served for three years in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration.

“Jim Davis, in the face of danger and disaster, always put others first. He was the unsung hero who made the 2008 DNC Convention a great success, and Colorado was fortunate that he agreed to come reorganize our Department of Public Safety right before four of the most difficult years for our state,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Jim was unwaveringly caring and empathetic, helping responders and victims to deal with some of the worst tragedies imaginable. We lost a great Coloradan and a great man today. My heart goes out to his family and friends across the state and around the world.”

Davis later worked in Colorado as a security consultant and most recently was a security advisor in Denver to the National Football League.  

Davis graduated from Michigan State University with an accounting degree in 1982 and worked as a certified public accountant in Chicago before joining the FBI.   


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