Intelligence Agency of a country plays an important role in maintaining its national security. They are basically government agencies that are responsible for collecting, analyzing and using the information gathered for the purpose of law enforcement, maintaining national security and accomplishing foreign policy objectives. These agencies recruit the best personnel who can extract even the deeply buried information with their tricks. The intelligence agencies can be of two types- security intelligence that is related to domestic threats and foreign intelligence that involves collecting information relating to activities of foreign states. Check out a list of top 10 Intelligence Agencies in the world 2024 along with other details related to them from this article below.
Top 11 Best Intelligence Agencies in the World 2024
Below presented is the list of the best Intelligence Agencies in the world along with some basic information about them like their headquarters, year of establishment, etc. Check them out.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), USA
Headquartered at Virginia, Founded in 1947
The CIA is primarily focused to provide intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States and it also plays a major role in maintaining dominance of USA over the world. CIA has no law enforcement function and works primarily on overseas intelligence gathering, with very little domestic intelligence gathering. CIA played a major role in establishing intelligence services in several allied countries, like Germany’s BND and has also provided support to many foreign political groups and governments.
Headquartered at Tel Aviv, Israel, Founded in 1949
Being one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, Mossad belongs to Israel. The agency is responsible for secret operations, intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, and counter-terrorism. The estimated number of employees of this agency is 7000. They have successfully covered a number of undercover operations against opponents of Israel .
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India
Headquartered at New Delhi, Founded in 1968
The Research and Analysis Wing of India came into existence after the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistan war of 1965. There were some holes found in the intelligence gathered by the Intelligence Bureau after these wars and the time was felt for an agency that could protect India before it went to war or hit by an attack. The primary task of RAW is to monitor the movement and activities of the neighboring countries.
Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Australia
Headquartered at Canberra (Australian Capital Territory), Founded in 1952
Founded originally in 1952, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, also called as ASIS, was able to hide its identity from the Australian government. After coming into spotlight, it was examined by the Royal Commission three times for its operations in the year 1974 and 1983 and in 1994. It is now a government intelligence agency responsible for collection of foreign intelligence, undertake counter-intelligence activities and cooperate with other intelligence agencies of the world.
Military Intelligence, Section 6 (MI6), UK
Headquartered at London, Founded in 1909
MI6 is considered as one of the oldest intelligence agencies that was founded back in the year 1569 by Sir Francis Walsingham. When he became the secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth I, Military Intelligence, Section 6 was established in its present form in 1909 by Commander (later Sir) Mansfield Cumming. It was constituted as part of Britain’s attempt to coordinate intelligence activities before the occurrence of World War I. MI6 works in close coordination with agencies like the CIA and helps them with their missions.
Ministry of State Security (MSS), China
Headquartered at Beijing, Founded in 1983
Also known as Guoanbu, the MSS is considered as one of the most secretive intelligence organizations in the world. The organization is responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and maintaining political security in the People’s Republic of China. The MSS was preceded by the Central Investigation Department (CID), which was China’s primary civilian intelligence organization from 1955 to 1983. It was established by the merger of the Central Investigation Department and the counterintelligence elements of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.
Directorate General for External Security (DGSE), France
Headquartered at Paris, Founded in 1982
Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (French) or Directorate General for External Security (English) is the external intelligence agency of France that operates under the direction of the French Ministry of Armed Forces. The DGSE works alongside its domestic counterpart, the DGSI (General Directorate for Internal Security) and helps in maintaining the national security of France through means of gathering intelligence and conducting paramilitary and counterintelligence operations abroad.
Federal Intelligence Service- Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany
Headquartered at Berlin, Founded in 1956
The Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst in German) is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany and is the world’s largest intelligence headquarters. With main headquarter at Berlin, it has a total of 300 locations in Germany and foreign countries. It collects and evaluates information on a variety of areas such as international terrorism, WMD proliferation and illegal transfer of technology, etc. The BND directly subordinate to the Germany Chancellor’s Office.
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Pakistan
Headquartered at Aabpara, Islamabad, Pakistan, Formed in 1948
Being a leading intelligence agency of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is responsible to gather, process, and analyze information linked for national security. It was founded on January 1, 1948 and is headquartered at Aabpara, Islamabad, Pakistan. Both members of of the armed forces and civilian are permitted to join Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Pakistan.
Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB RF), Russia
Headquartered at Lubyanka Square, Founded in 1995
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation preceded the Soviet Union’s KGB, its main security agency from 1954 to 1991. Its main responsibilities are within the country only and include surveillance, counter-intelligence, internal security, border security, counter-terrorism. In 2011, the FSB prevented 94 “crimes of a terrorist nature”, including eight terrorist attacks.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada
Headquartered at Ottawa, Founded in 1984
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service or CSIS works on national security issues and situations that threaten the security of the nation and reports directly to the Minister of Public Safety. CSIS is one of several federal departments that has been granted a heraldic badge. The CSIS works closely with the intelligence agencies of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand (an alliance called as Five Eyes or FVEY).
We have tried to list best intelligence agencies in the world 2024 with some basic information. Hope, it gave you an overall idea about best intelligence agencies in the world and how they work.
How do these Intelligence Agencies work?
There are so many ways in which these intelligence agencies can serve their national governments. One of their major work include counterintelligence which means providing Defence against the efforts of other national intelligence agencies. They can provide warning of impending crises beforehand and serve in national and international crisis management. They coordinate with the military operations (military intelligence) as well and help in national defence planning. Their major work also involves protection of sensitive information about their sources, activities and other state agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), USA
Answer: September 18, 1947
Answer: CIA, Mossad, Raw, ASIS, MI6, MSS, DGSE, Federal Intelligence Service, ISI, and FSB RF.
Answer: Tel Aviv, Israel