United States intelligence community

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The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is the set of intelligence agencies of the United States government. They have been coordinated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) since April 2005. From 1947 until then, by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). The DCI both coordinated the IC and headed the Central Intelligence Agency, but, after the creation of the DNI, the title changed to Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and was responsible for the CIA alone.

It is generally said there are 16 intelligence agencies, but some have fairly autonomous components, and there is at least one, and probably more organizations and components whose existence is not public.


In the Office of the DNI are a number of interagency centers and working groups. These include:

  • Center for Security Evaluation (CSE), National Intelligence Emergency Management Activity (NIEMA), responsible for Emergency Management and Continuity program. [1]
  • DNI Special Security Center, for coordinating the dissemination of intelligence information.[2]
  • Information Sharing Environment for terrorism-related information over all levels of government, the private sector, and foreign partners.[3]
  • Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) [4]
  • National counterintelligence executive (NCIX) [5]
  • National Counterterrorism Center [6]
  • National Intelligence Council, which prepares medium- to long-range intelligence [7]
  • OpenSource.gov, the national open source intelligence center [8]

Member Agencies

  1. Central Intelligence Agency
  2. Defense Intelligence Agency
  3. Bureau of Intelligence and Research, United States Department of State
  4. Office of Intelligence & Counterintelligence, United States Department of Energy
  5. United States Department of Homeland Security (Office of Intelligence & Analysis)
  6. United States Department of the Treasury (Office of Intelligence & Analysis)
  7. Drug Enforcement Administration (Office of National Security Intelligence}
  8. Federal Bureau of Investigation (National Security Branch)
  9. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
  10. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  11. National Security Agency/Central Security Service
  12. United States Army, United States Army Intelligence and Security Command
  13. United States Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence
  14. United States Air Force, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency
  15. United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps Intelligence Activity
  16. United States Coast Guard, Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)

Other organizations

  • Counterintelligence Field Activity (Department of Defense)
  • "Intelligence Support Agency", former name for Special Operations Command intelligence organization with a classified name that changes periodically
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center (Air Force)
  • National Ground Intelligence Center (Army)
  • National Maritime Intelligence Center (Navy, Marines and Coast Guard)

Overview of functions

The matrix below is organized by intelligence disciplines. Some agencies collect information only, some analyze it only, and others do both.

Source type Collection Processing Analysis
SIGINT NRO, NSA/CSS[9], Special Collection Service (SCS) [10] NSA, CIA, DIA, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines[11] Analytic agencies[12]
IMINT NRO NGA Analytic agencies
MASINT NRO, NSA/CSS, SCS, Department of Energy DIA Analytic agencies
HUMINT CIA/NCS, FBI CIA, FBI, ODNI Analytic agencies
TECHINT Military DIA Analytic agencies
OSINT ODNI Open Source Center ODNI Analytic agencies
FININT Treasury, CIA CIA, FBI, ODNI Analytic agencies
MEDINT DIA, CIA CIA, FBI, ODNI Analytic agencies
Counterintelligence FBI, CIA, DIA FBI, CIA, DIA, NCIX Analytic agencies

Washington Post analysis

The Washington Post did a study of the US intelligence community which they called "Top Secret America: a hidden world growing beyond control"[13] They reported "1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies" and "An estimated 854,000 people" were involved, but "it's impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities."


  1. Center for Security Evaluation (CSE), National Intelligence Emergency Management Activity (NIEMA)
  2. DNI Special Security Center
  3. Five Communities. One Mission.
  4. IARPA Program Offices
  5. About the NCIX
  6. National Counterterrorism Center
  7. NIC Mission
  8. Open Source Center
  9. CSS includes Service Cryptologic Elements
  10. May be renamed; has been called CIA Division D. Responsible for placing SIGINT and MASINT sensors in denied areas
  11. Service agencies especially with respect to electronic warfare affecting their tactics
  12. In principle, NRO and NSA are collection (and perhaps) processing only and do not do analysis that produces finished intelligence. Other agencies do analysis
  13. Dana Priest & William H. Arkin, "Top Secret America", Washington Post