Intelligence Agencies in the World : GK for Competitive Exams

List of main International Intelligence Agencies in the World; General Knowledge (GK) for Competitive Exams. The questions from this topic is most often asked in various Govt jobs examination. We are providing list along with detail info about the main agencies are provided below:

List of International Intelligence Agencies

Country Name of the Intelligence AgencyYear of Establishment
IndiaR&AW (Research and Analysis Wing)1968
United States of AmericaCIA (Central Intelligence Agency)1947
PakistanISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)1948
United KingdomMI6 (Military Intelligence Section 6 or Secret Intelligence Service (SIS))1909
RussiaGRU (Main Intelligence Agency)1992
ChinaMSS (Ministry of State Security)1983

The brief details of Intelligence Agencies in the World are given below:

Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India

  • R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing) came into existence on 21 September 1968.
  • The HQ of RA&W is in New Delhi. 
  • It is dedicated agency for foreign intelligence gathering.
  • It was put under the direct control of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
  • Before the existence of R&AW, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was solely responsible for gathering both internal and external intelligence. Now IB is focused in Internal Intelligence gathering.

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), USA

  • The CIA was established by the National Security Act of 1947 as an independent agency under the direction of the National Security Council.
  • Mission –  To correlate and evaluate intelligence relating to national security, and provide for the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence within the Government.
  • CIA is headquartered in Virginia, United States. 

Mossad, Israel

  • Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations (Mossad) is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. 
  • It was established on December 13, 1949. 

ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), Pakistan

  • ISI was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan has established itself as an effective agency, whose work has a definitive impact on a range of issues spanning regional politics/international relations, guerilla warfare as well as sub-conventional mechanisms, including the fuelling of uprisings and armed rebellions.
  • The ISI is also involved in trying to counter terrorism within and outside Pakistan. 
  • Controlled and headed by the Pakistan Army, it has an important say in most matters pertaining to the country, be they domestic or international.

MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service), United Kingdom

  • The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), often called MI6, was established in 1909 as the Foreign Section of the Secret Service Bureau under the leadership of Naval Commander (later Captain Sir) Mansfield Cumming. 
  • SIS is based at Vauxhall Cross in central London.
  • The principal function of SIS, often known as MI6, is the collection of secret foreign intelligence on issues concerning Britain’s vital interests in the fields of security, defence, serious crime, foreign and economic policies. 
  • The role of SIS is governed by the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which placed SIS on a statutory basis for the first time.
  • The Foreign Secretary is answerable to Parliament for the work of SIS.

GRU (Main Intelligence Agency), Russia

  • GRU stands for Glavnoe Razvedytalnoe Upravlenie, Russian Military Intelligence.
  • The strategic functions of GRU are as follows:
    • Political Intelligence.
    • Scientific and Technical Intelligence (industrial espionage).
    • Illegal Intelligence
  • The GRU is a large, expansive organization under the command of Russia’s Ministry of Defence and Defence Minister. 
  • As an arm of the military, the GRU is responsible for all levels of military intelligence, from tactical to strategic.
  • Additionally, the GRU conducts traditional intelligence missions through the recruitment and collection of human, signals, and electronic assets. 
  • Beyond its traditional combat – and intelligence-related roles, the GRU conducts extensive cyber, disinformation, propaganda, and assassination operations. 
  • Due to its operations and responsibilities, the GRU is one of the most well-known of Russia’s intelligence agencies. It plays a large role in Russian foreign and security policy.

MSS (Ministry of State Security), China

  • The MSS is the People’s Republic of China (PRC’s) main civilian intelligence and counter-intelligence service. 
  • The missions of the MSS are:
    • To protect the PRC’s national security; 
    • To secure political and social stability; 
    • To implement the National Security Law and related laws and regulations; 
    • To protect state secrets; 
    • To conduct counter-intelligence; and 
    • To investigate organizations or people inside the PRC who carry out or direct, support, or aid other people perceived to harm national security.
  • MSS (Ministry of State Security) is headquartered in Beijing and founded in 1983. 

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