Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency.svg
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency
Flag of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.svg
Flag of the Central Intelligence Agency
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 18, 1947; 71 years ago (1947-09-18)
Preceding agency
HeadquartersGeorge Bush Center for Intelligence
Langley, Virginia, U.S.
38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38°57′07″N 77°08′46″W / 38.95194; -77.14611
Motto"The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."
Unofficial motto: "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)[2]
Employees21,575 (estimate)[3]
Annual budget$15 billion (as of 2013)[3][4][5]
Agency executives

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, the CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection.[6] Though it is not the only agency of the Federal government of the United States specializing in HUMINT, the CIA serves as the national manager for coordination of HUMINT activities across the U.S. intelligence community. Moreover, the CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President.[6][7][8][9] It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.[10]

Before the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the CIA Director concurrently served as the head of the Intelligence Community; today, the CIA is organized under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Despite transferring some of its powers to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a result of the September 11 attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in the fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.[3][11]

The CIA has increasingly expanded its role, including covert paramilitary operations.[3] One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations.[12]


When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today its primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to perform covert actions.

According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities:[3]

Other Languages
armãneashti: CIA
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Цэнтральная разьведвальная ўправа
Cymraeg: CIA
dansk: CIA
Ελληνικά: CIA
Esperanto: CIA
euskara: CIA
Frysk: CIA
한국어: 중앙정보국
हिन्दी: सी आइ ए
hrvatski: CIA
Bahasa Indonesia: Badan Intelijen Pusat
עברית: CIA
Jawa: CIA
Kiswahili: C.I.A.
Bahasa Melayu: Agensi Perisikan Pusat
မြန်မာဘာသာ: စီအိုင်အေ
日本語: 中央情報局
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: MRB
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: CIA
татарча/tatarça: Үзәк күзләү идарәсе
Türkçe: CIA
ייִדיש: CIA