The Intelligence agency of every country plays an important role in the security of its country. Without an intelligence agency, prevention of attacks from other countries or terrorist organisations is gonna be near impossible. An intelligence agency, as the name suggests, is responsible for collecting, analysing, and using it in a way that is favourable to their country. The information that they work with is not accessible to common people. Almost every country has an intelligence agency, but this article lists 10 of the most dangerous intelligence agencies in the world. Some names on this list might shock you.
- Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – Pakistan
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was formed in 1948 and has been the leading intelligence agency of the country ever since. Its main task is to gather, process, and then analyse information that deals with the national security of the country. ISI is also one of the most aggressive intelligence agencies in the world because of its aggressive tactics which include psychological warfare. ISI has a very dominant presence in Afghanistan and is only one of the few intelligence agencies to do so. It has carried out covert operations in countries like India, Libya, Iran, Iraq, etc.
- Australian Secret Intelligence Services (ASIS) – Australia
The Australian Secret Intelligence Services was first formed in 1952, making it one of the oldest in the world, and was able to hide its existence from the public till 1972 when it was exposed by a newspaper by The Daily Telegraph. ASIS primarily deals with international intelligence, protecting the strategic interests of the country, and also coordinates closely with other prominent intelligence agencies in the world. In 2012, the director-general of ASIS noted that they were increasing their foothold in the most volatile regions of the world.
- Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) – France
Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE), as the name suggests, is the external intelligence agency of the country and operates under the control of the French Ministry of Armed Forces. The DGSE works closely with DGSI, which is responsible for internal security, to help and maintain the national security of France. The DGSI also conducts paramilitary and counterintelligence operations all over the world but its main focus is gathering valuable information which can help in the prevention of any attack against the country.
- Federal Intelligence Service, (BND) – Germany
Federal Intelligence Service, or as the german call it, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) is the primary international intelligence agency of the country and is the biggest intelligence headquarters in the world. It has more than 300 locations within the country and in foreign countries. It gathers and analyses all the data relating to the security of the country, especially against international terrorism but is also prepared to stop any other kind of threat which can endanger the peace of the country.
- Ministry of State Security (MSS) – China
Along with being one of the best intelligence agencies in the world, MSS, also known as Guoanbu, is also one of the most secretive intelligence agencies in the world. It was established by merging the Central Investigation Department (CID) and the counterintelligence elements of the Ministry of Public Security of China. The organisation as a whole is now solely responsible for national security, counterintelligence, and maintenance of political security in the People’s republic of China.
- Research And Analysis Wing (RAW) – India
The Research and Analysis Wing of India was established in 1968 due to the failure in the prevention of the Sino-Indian war through information gathering in 1962. At the time, the agency was responsible for both internal and external security, but after the catastrophe of the war and for the prevention of such catastrophes in the future, the Research and Analysis Wing was established to just focus on external threats. RAW’s main responsibility other than ensuring national security is to prevent the smuggling of narcotics into and from the country.
- Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR RF) – Russia
After the KGB, the main intelligence agency of the soviet union disbanded in 1991, the SVR RF took its place. Unlike other intelligence agencies on this list, the main responsibilities of SVR RF are strictly within the country of Russia. Its main focus is surveillance, counter-intelligence, internal and border security, and counter-terrorism. For covert operations and espionage in other countries, the agency depends on the foreign military intelligence unit of Russia, known as the GRU.
- Mossad – Israel
Mossad is one of the three intelligence services of Israel. Mossad deals with the external affairs of the country while the other two, namely, Shin Bet and Aman, focus on internal affairs and military intelligence respectively. The agency is widely known to use covert operations and has its own counter-terrorism unit known as Kidon. The most notable of their operations happened in 1972 after the Munich Massacre. The operation they carried out was termed as the Wrath of God in which they tracked and eliminated many members of the Palestine armed militant group responsible for the Munich Massacre. This operation spanned across Greece, France, Italy, Algeria, Libya, etc. It has also worked with intelligence agencies of other countries like the CIA and RAW.
- Secret Intelligence Service – The United Kingdom
The British Secret Intelligence Service is the most well-known intelligence agency in the world. It is also known as MI6 and was founded in 1909 and is one of the oldest intelligence agencies in the world. It was officially acknowledged by the country in 1994, almost 9 decades later. It is the leader of all the other intelligence services in the country. It mainly focuses on international affairs while the other services manage the domestic affairs. They focus on anything which can threaten the interest, prosperity, and national security of the country. The MI6 also coordinates closely with other services like the CIA in helping them with their missions.
- Central Intelligence Agency – The United States
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was formed in 1947 and mainly focuses on gathering information from overseas while only gathering minimal information domestically. It gathers all this information for the president and the Cabinet of the United States. It is tasked with obtaining such information that will help in the prevention of any terrorist, nuclear, or cyber-attack against their nation. The main role of the CIA is to ensure the dominance of the United States over the entire world. The CIA also has helped in setting up intelligence agencies of other allied countries like Germany’s BND.