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Intelligence Agencies


Intelligence Agencies The US has a variety of intelligence agencies each with their own focus area, resources and capabilities.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is the head of intelligence community (the other organizations listed below). DNI is tasked with coordinating intelligence activities and advising the President of national security and intelligence matters. This office is supposed to coordinate the various agencies, their activities and foreign government activities.

National Counterterrorism Center

As their name says, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) purpose is to combat terrorism. The National Counterterrorism Center gathers all intelligence regarding terrorism and serves as the central knowledge base for other agencies. The NCTC is the primary terrorism to the Director of National Intelligence.

National Intelligence Council

The National Intelligence Council is chartered with providing analysis of trends in the intelligence community and foreign activities. The focus is not on obtaining intelligence but looking at where things are going and what trends can be determined from current activies. A key product of the National Intelligence Council is the National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs).

Information-Sharing Environment

The Information-Sharing Environment or ISE provides a central store of information pertaining to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and homeland security information. The goal is to have one place for all information used by the Defense Department, Homeland Security, Justice, Department of State, state and local police and first responders.

Central Intelligence Agency

The CIA is well known for its covert activities outside the U.S. The CIA’s primary mission is to gather intelligence concerning America’s enemies. The CIA was started during World War II and called the Office of Strategic Services.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for law enforcement and intelligence gathering within the borders of the US. Protection of the US against terrorists is a key priority for the FBI along with investigating spy rings operating within the US.

National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) was established in 1981 to collect signals and communications intelligence information and develop security procedures for handling communications securely. The NSA’s work focuses on intercepting signals world-wide to protect American interests and develop cryptologic methods to secure our communications.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provides geospatial intelligence to the Defense Department. The NGA acquires imagery and geospatial information and provides this information to end users.

Defense Intelligence Agency

DIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency provides intelligence information to warfighters and defense planners to further their missions. The DIA provides military intelligence such as foreign military capabilities, equipment, plans and intentions.

US Department of State – Bureau of Intelligence and Research

The State Department - Bureau of Intelligence and Research gathers and disseminates intelligence information to support State Department diplomatic endeavors.

National Reconnaissance Office

Satellites provide a wealth of intelligence information for the US. These systems are design and managed by the National Reconnaissance Office. NRO was founded in 1961 but not publicly acknowledged until 1992.

US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

The US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency is based at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. With over 20,000 people, ISR uses a variety of aircraft to gather intelligence and provide mission reconnaissance. Aircraft used include E-3 Sentry, Predator, Global Hawk and U-2’s.

US Army Intelligence and Security Command

INSCOM is an Army group that gathers military intelligence for Army related missions and responsibilities. INSCOM is based at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and has over 180 other locations around the world.

Office of Naval Intelligence

Office of Naval Intelligence focuses on maritime intelligence as would be expected. ONI was formed in 1882 making it the longest operating intelligence agency in the US. ONI works to make the oceans open and safe and works to protect US assets on the oceans. ONI’s headquarters is in Maryland.

US Department of Homeland Security

DHS or the Department of Homeland Security has several agencies including the Coast Guard that provide intelligence and security within the United States.

US Treasury Department

US Treasury Department has a variety of responsibilities including Federal budget management, IRS and the money supply. Treasury provides intelligence activities relating to counterfeiting money and goods, control of goods that have been determined a risk if supplied to a foreign entity and protection of heads of state through the Secret Service.

Marine Corps Intelligence Activity

The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity is similar to the Air Force, navy and Army intelligence groups in that it gathers military intelligence in support of Marine Corps activities.

US Department of Energy

The Department of Energy secures our nuclear assets including research facilities, reactors and weapons.

US Coast Guard – Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Program

The Coast Guard is charged with protecting our nations waters from smuggling, drug trafficking and people trying to enter the country illegally.

Drug Enforcement Administration – Office of National Security Intelligence

The DEA or Drug Enforcement Agency provide a range of services related to drug law enforcement. Gathering intelligence on drug related trafficking and activities are part of its mission.

Each of these intelligence agencies provides opportunities for companies with the products and services related to their activities.

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