The world of espionage has always been of high interest, with almost a countless number of books, movies, and video games based on it. Here we take a look at the 10 best intelligence agencies in the world today.
10- Germany’s BND
The Bundesnachrichtendienst recruited Nazi intelligence operatives after World War II and was responsible for conflicts between East and West Germany in the first years of its existence. Despite its difficult start, with numerous failures and bureaucratic inefficiencies during Richard Gehler’s management, the BND has become a skilled intelligence-gathering agency. Now it works effectively as a defensive screen for Germany on issues such as terrorism, computer wars, and organized crime.
9- The MI-6 of the United Kingdom
Famous for the character James Bond of Ian Fleming, the organization is officially known as the secret intelligence service, it has been operating since 1909. Its glory days were during World War II, where it yielded effectively by breaking codes and counter efforts -intelligence against the Germans. Recently it was reported that MI-6 had to do with the capture of the controversial Prime Minister of Libya Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Although it has suffered cuts of personnel recently, and having closed a number of its facilities is still an imposing force in the world of espionage.
8- The DGSE of France
The Directorate General of the Sécurité Extérieure focuses most of its efforts against counter terrorism and French national security, with a self-reported 20 terrorist attacks prevented. The most notorious of them involving the sinking of the Greenpeace ship “Rainbow Warrior” in 1985. Its International operations have included the training of the intelligence service of Bahrain, and activities in the Middle East as part of the war on terrorism.
7- The GRU of Russia
While the FSB and SVR can be considered the most direct descendants of the infamous Soviet KGB, the GRO (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye) is the Russian intelligence agency in command and has existed since before World War II. Apart from its clandestine operations, the group is also leading several Spetnaz special forces commands for more direct action. Very little was known about the existence of the GRU until the Russians fleeing westward began to disseminate information, the most notable being Vladimir Rezin. Its long persistence and lack of information about its activities point to an effective organization for its work.
6- The Research and Analysis Wing of India
The R&AW is the external intelligence agency of India which has mostly dealt with direct and indirect conflicts with Pakistan and its ISI. The organization was instrumental in the formation of Bangladesh, venturing into operations such as false flag theft to increase an anti-Pakistani sentiment, train Mukti-Bahini rebels, and deal with assassination attempts of high-ranking Bangladeshi officers. The organization has also been involved in Sri Lankan conflicts outside the Maldives. Despite the existence of Bollywood, there are very few films about R&AW activities compared to the number of CIA and MI-6 films.
You might wonder why the notorious Anonymous activist group would get a place in a list of intelligence agencies. When you consider how much information obtained is intervened, and the impact of Anonymous on modern world events, it should be noted how this intelligence group guarantees a decent place on the list. The less known activities of Anonymous involve the use of its LOICs, (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), which are DDoS mass-use computers, (Direct Denial of Service), attacks on the target of organizations. The attack was so effective that the Department of Justice and the FBI sites collapsed, among others, in a random attack by the government. Anonymous’s list confirms the activities and the potential for events has made them the face of more known information.
4- China’s MSS
With the growing presence of China as a world power, intelligence has grown by that influence. Its powerful agents have infiltrated the CIA and the FBI, and those are just a few that have been discovered. China alone is a secret organization and not much information is found, which gives them points when we talk about winning a position like this.
3- Israel’s Mossad
Mossad is the most incredibly active agency in the world considering that it is the smallest in both the country and the agency. With the goal of protecting Hebrew interests and their people wherever they are, their activities include intercepting Hezbollah agents in the United States, a large number of murders in the Middle East for continuing conflicts, and operations that created “Underground Roads “for the Jews who wished to emigrate to Israel despite the laws that were opposed in their native countries.
2- Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence
One of the most established intelligence agencies the Pakistani ISI had a very important part in keeping Soviet interests out of Pakistan during the Cold War, with the help of CIA agent training. The organization’s activities seem to have no limit, from the trafficking of materials outside the United States to its nuclear plants, brutal torture and murder of insurgents, suppressing anti-Pakistani sentiments throughout the world, funding, and training of Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, until attending a number of different insurgents from India.
1- USA’s Central Intelligence Agency
The CIA was formed as a Strategic Operations Service, an organization created in World War II, which represented the first American Intelligence Agency. The agency trained resistance groups, recruited spies from everywhere and is now the largest intelligence agency in the world. Its ability to operate in a modern world with little media coverage, even for its extreme size, makes it the most formidable agency in the world. Despite the controversy with some of its operations and abuse of authority, to the point of receiving threats from the government of its dismantling, the agency continues to strengthen until today.
Due to the nature of intelligence agencies, the reality of their activities is dramatically different from what we know. Usually, the information is obtained when an operation goes wrong, an informant gives them secrets, or their own press division decides to give information. The world’s largest intelligence agency could be out there, working under the radar to closely monitor everything that you buy in the supermarket and what you download online. You can be sure that they already know that you will eat tomorrow.