Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
As far as can be determined, there are currently 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S. government, although other agencies sometimes carry out intelligence-related tasks. Many of the following agencies are part of the Department of Defense. An overview of these agencies briefly describes what each does. Links below lead either to the agency's website or to a LibGuide about the agency.
National Security Agency (NSA)
NSA is primarily responsible for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and cryptology. It was created in 1952 via National Security Council Directive Number 9.
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
DIA was established in 1961 under the National Security Act of 1947 to collect foreign military intelligence. It operates under the Secretary of Defense.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
NGA manages geospatial intelligence for defense purposes. It began as the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in 1972. It later evolved into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) in 1996. NIMA became NGA in 2003.
The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) conducts investigations for intelligence purposes.
Air Force Intelligence
The Twenty-Fifth Air Force, formerly Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, is the intelligence branch of the Air Force.
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
ONI was established in the 1880s to gather intelligence about foreign naval technology and developments. It collects strategic maritime intelligence.
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
MCIA supports intelligence gathering in the Marine Corps.
Coast Guard Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Enterprise
The USCG collects intelligence related to its mission to safeguard port facilities and conduct maritime law enforcement.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The CIA was established in 1947 following World War II. It conducts clandestine operations and gathers intelligence in foreign countries.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
DEA gathers intelligence in support of its mission to enforce controlled drug laws and regulations.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI conducts investigations and gathers intelligence related to domestic security, counterterrorism, and criminal organizations.
Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
INR, part of the State Department, analyzes foreign events, public opinion, and media to inform foreign policy.
Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA)
The Treasury Department's OIA provides intelligence and analysis related to financial transactions.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
DHS was established in 2003. Its Office of Intelligence and Analysis is a conduit for sharing intelligence with state and local law enforcement.
Office of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence
The Department of Energy's IN focuses on nuclear terrorism threats and nuclear nonproliferation.
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
NRO, established in 1962, obtains and analyzes signals intelligence and imagery from spy satellites.
Government Documents Librarian