Know the difference between two global intelligence agencies the CIA and the FBI

Publish Date: 15 May, 2021 |

FBI and CIA Differences:

The security of a country is safeguarded by the intelligence agencies across the world, which ensure nothing wrong happens with the citizens of their nation and an easy redressal of what has already occurred. While almost every country in the world has its own intelligence agency as India has RAW, CBI, CID, etc., Russia has KGB, Israel has Mossad and the USA has FBI and CIA.

And while moving forward with the article, we will know more about the difference between the FBI and the CIA. 

An introduction to CIA:

One of the two prominent intelligence agencies of the world, the CIA stand for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and it deals with international high-priority issues like counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, non-proliferation, international organised crime, narcotics trafficking and arms control intelligence. 

An introduction to FBI:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation deals with the domestic issues of the United States of America (USA). The prime responsibility of the FBI is to prevent terrorism within the USA and enforce domestic law and order. FBI also provides assistance to the state and local criminal investigations where their expertise and resources are sought.

Key points of difference between FBI and CIA:

  • CIA usually operates outside the USA and gathers intelligence through a network of spies, while the FBI chiefly operates within the USA while gathering intelligence and also tackles federal crimes. 

  • The CIA is an independent agency while the FBI operates under the umbrella of the US Department of Justice. 

  • The CIA was instituted on 18th September 1947 when the National Security Act was signed by President Harry S. Truman. However, the FBI was instituted on 26th July 1908.

  • The estimated agents and CIA was recorded at 25,000 and 35,000 respectively in the FY 2016, whereas, for the FBI it was estimated at 13,000 agents, 22,000 staff and 3,000 intelligence analysts. 

  • The key responsibilities of the Central Intelligence Agency include gathering the overseas intelligence and covertly act for the same. However, for the FBI the key responsibilities include protecting the USA from terrorist attacks and foreign intelligence operations or espionage, combat public corruption at all levels and protect the USA against global cyberattacks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also responsible to investigate cases of murders, interstate crimes and kidnappings in the USA.  

  • While considering the areas of responsibilities of these agencies, the FBI has a wider range of responsibilities as compared to the CIA, however, both of these global agencies are responsible to protect the USA from international threats and secure the life of its citizens.


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