The CIA and the FBI are agencies dedicated to American security, but each operates in a different field.
Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are U.S. security agencies, although each is in a different field. While the CIA collects information about foreign countries and citizens that concern national security, the FBI is dedicated to crimes committed on U.S. territory and, unlike the CIA, can investigate citizens, companies and residents of the United States.
How are the FBI and the CIA different?
The FBI was created in 1908 as a special group within the Department of Justice.
This agency focuses on threats to national security such as terrorism, cyber attacks or espionage by collecting and analyzing information, as well as enforcing the law at the federal level. The FBI collects information that serves both to solve the crimes it investigates and to collaborate with other security agencies in the country, and has some 35,000 agents and analysts of different specialties working both inside and outside the United States. The FBI is not part of the National Police, but is an independent agency, although they sometimes cooperate in their investigations.
The CIA, on the other hand, was created in 1946, after the Second World War. Its mission at first was to stop the expansion of communism during the Cold War, but the change in the international context has made its objectives evolve. The agency now collects and analyzes information internationally to assist the government in foreign policy decisions. Some of the issues on which the CIA focuses are nuclear non-proliferation, terrorism, international organized crime, or narcotics trafficking. Although the CIA operates both inside and outside the United States, it cannot collect information about U.S. citizens or businesses regardless of the country in which they are located, or about immigrants legally residing in the country.
Both the CIA and the FBI are part of the US Intelligence Community, a federation that brings together all seventeen US government intelligence agencies. Although these are two of the best known, others that are part of the Community include the National Security Agency (NSA), which is dedicated primarily to cyber security and information security, or agencies that support specific departments such as the Defense Intelligence Agency or the Army’s military intelligence corps, among others.