20 Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

Hats off to the Dedicated Team!

Akshada Borhade

10 months ago|6 min read


We all are aware that some agencies work for the nation's safety. These agencies are there worldwide. Undercover agents and their dedicated teams work in silence to protect their federation. They all spend a lot of money on the armed forces and technical surveillance.

These heroes are often not given the salute, respect, and position that they deserve.

The International agencies strive hard to bring peace and harmony to their nations. 

Let us learn about 20 such popular Intelligence agencies across the globe. 

1. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) – USA

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) – USA | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

The first International Agency in the USA.

It came into power on 18th September 1947.

CIA's headquarters- Langley, Virginia.

CIA collects intelligence, produces analysis for the security of the USA as directed by the president. CIA's agents collect intelligence from across the world.

It is the first line of defense for the United States.

2. RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) - India

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) | World's Best Intelligence Agencies

RAW has been functioning since 21st September 1968.

New Delhi is the headquarter of RAW.

This international agency collects foreign intelligence, counter-terrorism and advises Indian decision-makers for further betterment and security.

3. Mossad - Israel

Next on the list of popular intelligence agencies is Mossad. This international agency is in Israel, and its headquarter is at Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Mossad came into power on 13th December 1949.

Their agents collect intelligence from across the world. And their motto is protecting Jews and Jewish interests.

4. MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service) - UK

The Secret Intelligence Service is also known as MI6 and has been in power since 4th July 1909. 

MI6's headquarter is situated in London.

This international agency collects foreign intelligence and guides the Britain government for the nation's welfare and security.

5. GRU (Main Intelligence Agency) - Russia

Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) | Russian Intelligence Agencies

GRU is one of the largest international agencies.

Its headquarter is in Moscow. 

GRU stands for Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie, which means Main Intelligence Directorate.

This Russian intelligence agency has been working for its welfare and security since 7th May 1992.

6. Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) - Australia

ASIS has its headquarter in Canberra.

This international agency is working for Australia by safeguarding the nation and maintaining national and international relations.

It has been serving Australia since 13th May 1952.

7. Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) - France

Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) - France | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

Paris is DGSE's headquarter.

DGSE's functioning is a complement to the USA's CIA and Britain's MI6. It is one of the most popular intelligence agencies.

8. The Bundesnachrichtendienst - Germany 

The Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND came into power on 1st April 1956.

Berlin is the headquarter of this international agency. It is the world's massive intelligence headquarter.

9. MSS (Ministry of State Security) - China

MSS (Ministry of State Security) - China | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

Beijing is MSS's headquarter.

It is a secret police agency that collects foreign intelligence and works for China's political security.

It has been serving China since 1st July 1983.  

10. Federal Security Service (formerly KGB) - Russia

Federal Security Service (FSB) | Russian Intelligence Agencies

On 12th April 1995, FSS came into existence.

Moscow is FSS's headquarter.

It is one of the successor agencies of the Soviet-era KGB.

11. National Directorate of Security- Afghanistan

Next on the list of popular intelligence agencies is the National Directorate of Security. Kabul is the headquarter of NDS.

It came into power in the year 2002.

12. Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) - Canada

CSIS came into power after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act. 

CSIS has the authority to investigate, collect, analyze and retain information and intelligence. The Canadian government immediately gets notice of suspicious activities from CSIS.

CSIS's headquarters are in Ottawa.

It came into power on 21st June 1984.

13. National Intelligence Service - South Korea

National Intelligence Service - South Korea | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

NIS came into power in 1961.

NIS was brought into existence by the military dictator Park Chung-hee of Korea.

The motto of this international agency is an anonymous dedication to freedom and truth.

Naegok-dong, Seocho District, Seoul are the headquarters of NIS.

14. IB (Intelligence Bureau)- India 

IB's headquarter is in New Delhi.

The IB started paying attention to counterintelligence, counter-terrorism, VIP Security, anti-secession activities, intelligence collection in border areas, and infrastructure protection from 1887.

This international agency maintains its relations with foreign agencies and security agencies in the USA, UK, and Israel.

15. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)- USA 

FBI's headquarters are in Washington, DC.

The FBI came into force on 26th July 1908.

It serves the USA by safeguarding the country from terrorism. 

16. NSA (National Security Agency)- USA 

NSA works within the Department of Defense in the USA.

This international agency works for cryptography, intelligence, communication, and security.

It came into power on 4th November 1952.

NSA's headquarter is in Maryland.

17. NIA (National Investigation Agency) - India

NIA (National Investigation Agency) - India | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

The National Investigation Agency came into power after Parliament passed the National Investigation Agency Act 2008. 

It has been working for India's terror cases since 2009. It does not require any states' permission for their work. 

NIA's headquarter is in New Delhi.

18. ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)- Pakistan

ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)- Pakistan | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

Next on the list of popular intelligence agencies is ISI. ISI's headquarter is situated in Islamabad. 

Since 1st January 1948, ISI has been working for Pakistan's security.

19. Cabinet Intelligence Research and Office- Japan

CIRO is also called Naichō. 

In 1986, CIRO came into power.

Nagatacho, Tokyo, and Japan are CIRO's headquarters.

20. State Security Agency- South Africa

State Security Agency- South Africa | Popular Intelligence Agencies In The World

This international agency was previously known as the National Intelligence Agency. It came into power on 1st January 1994 and dissolved in the year 2009. 

After the NIA dissolved, SSA- State Security Agency came to be known. 

Musanda Complex, Joe Nhlanhla Street, Pretoria, Gauteng is the headquarter of SSA.

Phew, and we come to an end of this defensive and disciplined journey. Seriously kudos and hats off to the unsung undercover agents who dedicatedly serve their nation without expectations.

These international agencies bring security to their nations and ensure harmony. We must appreciate their selfless efforts.

Do like and share this article to bring awareness about these phenomenal intelligence agencies.

Read more:


Akshada Borhade

An engineer trying to find an escape by writing her heart out!



Read More