Intelligence agencies are the first line of defense against potential internal and external threats. They are tasked with gathering intelligence, conducting various forms of espionage, advising the government when it comes to national security matters, spreading fake information, and, in the case of some agencies, even carrying out assassinations.
Often these agencies are hidden from the public, for confidentiality purposes. They work away from the political and media frenzy for the highest efficiency. But still, we have gathered a little data and here we are with the best Agencies working in the world.
They have really weird operations, thinking, and decisions being taken which are mostly misunderstood by most of the people but they come out to be indeed worth full in the end as they have the security and prosperity of their country as their first priority.
Out of the hundreds of Intelligence Agencies out there, we have compiled the list of best Intelligence Agencies. Let’s have a look and their unique performances.
11. Canada – CSIS
Canada is one of the safest countries in the world. Most of the credit for keeping the country safe goes to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the main intelligence agency in Canada.
The CSIS handles everything related to Canada’s national security. Duties include collecting intelligence, running covert operations, and advising the government on potential security threats. The CSIS is also Canada’s representative in the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The Five Eyes is considered one of the most extensive espionage alliances in history, though it has long been under public scrutiny for its methods.
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the CSIS collects information from around the world and weeds out anything that might pose a threat to Canada and its citizens. However, the agency has a bit of a reputation for being too aggressive when it comes to running its activities in the name of national security.
10. Australia – ASIS
Australian Secret Intelligence Agency (ASIS) is the official Australian government agency that is responsible for collecting intelligence data of foreign countries. It was formed in 1952 and its current Director-General is Nick Warner. The most interesting part of this agency is that it was a secret to its own Australian government for over more than twenty long years. You can easily imagine the power of the agency. Its interest mostly lies in Asia and Pacific regions and its agents are spread worldwide collecting and keeping the records of protection of the economic and political side of their country. The approximate budget of the ASIS is $162 Million.
9. India – RAW
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is Indian’s external intelligence agency which ranks 9th on top Intelligence agencies. It was formed in 1968 after the two worse encounters of wars. First in 1962 with the Sino-Indian War and Indo-Pak War in 1965. With the two worse defeats of Indians, they realized that there should be a strong external agency which should protect and keep an eye on outside India so that they should realize any war condition at an early stage. Firstly the Intelligence Bureau of India was responsible for both internal and external duties but it failed completely.
8. France – DGSE
Directorate-General for External Security of France is active in providing intelligence, national security operations abroad. The agency was formed in 1982 and its main focus is to get the record and gather intelligence from different sources to assist in military and strategic operations for the country. The DGSE agency employs more than 5000 people and is under the operation of Erard Corbin de Mangoux who is the Agency executive.
7. Russia – FSB
Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation is the main domestic security agency in the country. All law enforcement and agencies work under the orders of FSB. The FSB is responsible for both internal and external security of the Russian state. It is involved in counter-intelligence, Internal border security, fight terrorism and surveillance. It also fights against organized crimes, terrorism and drug smuggling inside the state. According to a piece of secret information, it has over 350,000 employees working inside and oversees too.
6. Germany – BND
Bundesnachrichtendienst is the foreign Intelligence Agency of Germany and its the official government security agency which works as an early warning system to alert the German government officials which are against German interests. It highly depends on international communications and wiretaps online calls. It collects the data and evaluates the information and analyze the data to give the officials the report. As an external intelligence agency, BND offers both military and civil services with its 6000+ agents.
5. China – MSS
Minister of State Security (MSS) is the Chinese largest and most active intelligence agency. It is headquartered in Beijing and it spans of keeping an eye on international and political matters, they have a strict policy for foreign agents and spies. One of the primary missions of the MSS is to gather information from various countries abroad. Many MSS agents are said to have been working in the USA, Canada, and Australia and most of them worked as big businessmen, bankers, scholars, and Journalists. This indeed demonstrates the wide scope of this Great Intelligence Agency.
4. Israel – Mossad
The Mossad is responsible for collecting Intelligence for Israel, It is one of the most successful Intelligence agency in the world. It also takes an active part in covert operations and paramilitary activities. Mossad is really famous for its operations and of trace different myths and mysterious of their interests. The Acquisition of MIG-21 in 1967 and theft plans of Mirage 5 was also a great success of this agency. It also helped and assisted the US in supporting Solidarity. The agency was formed in 1949 and have approx 1200 employees and Meir Dagan as its Director.
3. United Kingdom – SIS
The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is commonly known as MI6. It is a bit equivalent to the CIA of America. The MI6 gathers and analyzes information from overseas. It focuses on information related to terrorism, nuclear weapons, drug trafficking, organized crime, and other activities that could threaten the UK’s interests and national security. It also coordinates with other foreign intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency. They are said to access really confidential details and documents of their targets and to alter any details they wish. There track success is yet not declared.
2. Pakistan – ISI
With the lengthiest track record of success, the best known Intelligence Agency is ISI. The Inter-Service Intelligence was formed in 1948 just a year after the independence of Pakistan and it was created in order to strengthen the performance of this newly born country. Its success in achieving its goal without leading to any big invasion is indeed afoot which is unmatched. It has absolutely no double agents since its history and this is the reason it’s one of the top agency. Some of the really interesting facts are that their officials are never caught on camera and it is above all the laws in its country. It is one of the least funded Intelligence Agency out of all these Top 10 and it has 10,000 really great agents working worldwide.
1. United States – CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency is the foreign intelligence agency of the US. It collects information from overseas, with minimal information collection within the country. It is the most popular and easily recognizable intelligence agency in the world, mainly due to its numerous appearances in Hollywood movies.
The CIA was formed in 1947, making it one of the oldest intelligence agencies on this list. The agency is tasked with monitoring overseas developments that might threaten the US, especially relating to terrorism and nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. The agency also handles counterintelligence and cyber warfare.
Apart from gathering information, the CIA also runs covert paramilitary operations. The track record of the CIA is a mixed bag, though, based on publicly known past operations. The agency has been involved in numerous scandals and controversies over the years, the chief reason why it is only ranked fourth on our list of the top 10 best intelligence agencies in the world.