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Intelligence agency

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The George Bush Center for Intelligence, headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Langley, United States
The Ministry of State Security in Beijing, China
The SIS Building, headquarters of MI6, in London, United Kingdom
The headquarters of the Foreign Intelligence Service in Moscow, Russia
The headquarters of the Directorate-General for External Security in Paris, France

An intelligence agency is a government agency responsible for the collection, analysis, and exploitation of information in support of law enforcement, national security, military, public safety, and foreign policy objectives.[1]

Means of information gathering are both overt and covert and may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources. The assembly and propagation of this information is known as intelligence analysis or intelligence assessment.

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Intelligence agencies can provide the following services for their national governments.

There is a distinction between "security intelligence" and "foreign intelligence". Security intelligence pertains to domestic threats, including terrorism and espionage. Foreign intelligence involves information collection relating to the political, or economic activities of foreign states.

Some agencies have been involved in assassination, arms trafficking, coups d'état, and the placement of misinformation propaganda and other covert and clandestine operations to support their own or their governments' interests.

See also

Further reading


  • Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security, hrg. von K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 3 Bände, Detroit [u.a.]: Gale [u.a.], 2004
  • Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, Cloak and Dollar: A History of American Secret Intelligence, Yale University Press, 2002
  • Richard C. S. Trahair, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations, Westport, Conn. [u.a.] : Greenwood Press, 2004
  • Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1999


  • The Journal of Intelligence History




  1. ^ Szoldra, Paul (May 11, 2013). "These 17 Agencies Make Up The Most Sophisticated Spy Network In The World". Business Insider.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 March 2024, at 12:06
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