Intelligence Agency is a government agency or a private agency supporting the government in analyzing, accessing, and collecting national and foreign intelligence secretly in order to protect the nation from security threats. Every country has its national intelligence agency working continuously to collect foreign intelligence and nullifying any external threats to the nation. These intelligence agencies employ spy agents and disguised personnel to track intelligence. These undercover agents are highly trained to combat any kind of attacks and also have the capability to carry out counter-attacks if required with the help of modern machinery. So, which are the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world?
This list consists of the world’s most superior intelligence agencies in terms of speed, accuracy, past achievements and level of intelligence analysis to warn the government to tackle external threats. So, here goes the list of 10 best intelligence agencies in the world.
10. Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Australia
Australian Secret Intelligence Service is a reputed secret intelligence agency from Australia, which was formed in the year 1952. The ASIS is headquartered in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. ASIS is comparable to the British MI6 and America’s CIA in terms of power, role and responsibility. ASIS is responsible for providing vital foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence and liaising for the Government of Australia.
9. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan
Inter-Services Intelligence is a premier intelligence agency from Pakistan, known for providing highly critical national intelligence and assessment for the Government of Pakistan. Formed in 1948, ISI is located in Islamabad, Pakistan. ISI is the largest of the three intelligence agencies in Pakistan, the other two being Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Military Intelligence (MI). In the 1990s, ISI is known to have provided intelligence support to the Taliban in Afghan during the civil war.
8. Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE), France
The General Directorate for External Security of France is considered as one of the most powerful and renowned intelligence and security agencies in the world. Located in Paris, DGSE was formed in the year 1982 to tackle counter-terrorism and gathering foreign intelligence. DGSE is notable for performing paramilitary operations, counterintelligence operations abroad along with DGSI (the General Directorate for Internal Security). As with most other intelligence agencies in the world, DGSE doesn’t reveal its intelligence operations to the public or media.
7. Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany
Instantiated in the year 1956, BND is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany which has 300 locations in Germany and in other countries. BND is a high-tech intelligence agency, which relies on telecommunication and wireless tapping of international communications. BND acts as an early emergency warning system for Germany by alerting the German Government of any external foreign threats.
Major Achievements of BND are: BND deciphered the report of the Libyan Embassy in 1986, spying on journalists in 2005, promoting the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and many more.
6. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India
Research and Analysis Wing is a reputed intelligence agency from India, which was formed after the Sino-Indian War 1962 and Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Headquartered in New Delhi, RAW was formed in the year 1968 to tackle foreign intelligence and counter-terrorism. In addition, RAW also takes care of information about internal and foreign governments, corporations and persons to advise Indian policymakers. RAW also gives security to India’s nuclear programme. Many times RAW has been cited as an effective agency and one of the primary instruments of national power. Some of the notable and major operations undertaken by RAW include ELINT operations aimed at China, Creation of Bangladesh and aftermath, Amalgamation of Sikkim, Kahuta’s Blueprint, Special Operations, Operation Cactus, Operation Chanakya, Kargil War, 2008 Mumbai attacks, and many more.
5. Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), Russia
Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation is the principal security agency of the Russian Federation formed in the year 1995 and is headquartered in Lubyanka Square,Moscow, Russia. FSB’s preceding agency is KGB, which in English stands for Committee for State Security. The main responsibilities of FSB includes counterintelligence, counter-terrorism, surveillance, monitoring anti-soviet activities, internal and border security and investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations.
4. Ministry of State Security (MSS), China
Established in the year 1983, Ministry of State Security performs the intelligence agency task for People’s Republic of China. Counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence and political security are the main responsibility of MSS. Ministry of State Security is headquartered near the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing.
The network of state security bureaus and MSS are two separate entities which are working in parallel under the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China. But, these two coexist together and share information interchangeably.
3. Mossad, Israel
Mossad in Hebrew means “the Institute”, which serves as the national intelligence agency of Israel. Mossad came into existence in the year 1949 to counter terrorism, intelligence collection, and covert operations. Mossad also was formed to bring Jews to Israel from countries where official Aliyah agencies are forbidden. Mossad is considered to be one of the deadliest intelligence agencies and also the most powerful. They have a big list of notable achievements in their basket.
Achievements of Mossad: In 1960, Mossad discovered that the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, during the 1990s, Mossad discovered a Hezbollah agent operating within the United States, Mossad assassinated Latvian Nazi collaborator Herberts Cukurs in 1965, Mossad gathered information on Austrian politician Jörg Haider using a mole, The killing of Hussein Al Bashir in Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1973 in relation to the Munich massacre and many more.
2. Secret Intelligence Agency (SIS) also known as MI6, United Kingdom
The existence of the SIS was not officially acknowledged until 1994. Secret Intelligence Agency (SIS), also known by the name MI6 is the intelligence wing of British Government. MI6 stands for Military Intelligence, Section 6. Secret Intelligence Agency is commonly referred as MI6 and is one of the world’s oldest intelligence agencies in the world dating back to 1909 (more than 100 years old). SIS was formed mainly for countering foreign intelligence from the Imperial German Government of 18th and 19th century. One of the biggest accomplishments of MI6 was its contribution in November 2011 that helped capture Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
1. Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA) United States
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independently operated analysis and intelligence agency for the government of United States. CIA was created in 1947 as a result of the Pearl Harbor attack at the end of World War II. The most important purpose of CIA includes collecting, analyzing, evaluating, and disseminating foreign intelligence, and to perform covert actions. CIA is mainly focused on overseas intelligence collection and analysis. National Clandestine Service (NCS) operates as the clandestine services arm of the CIA and the national authority.
Achievements of CIA: Siberian pipeline sabotage, detecting the Soviet missiles being placed in Cuba, exploiting Oleg Penkovsky, and CIA’s assistance in overthrowing the democratically-elected governments of Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973) are some of the achievements of CIA.