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What is the difference between the FBI and CIA?

Amid the growing terrorism all over the world; the role of intelligence agencies of the world is becoming tougher and tougher on daily basis. Almost every country of the world has its intelligence agency as India has RAW, CBI, NIA, CID, Russia has KGB while Israel has Mossad and USA has FBI and CIA.

In this article we are publishing the key differences between the two prominent agencies of the world i.e, FBI and CIA.

About Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);

Central Intelligence Agency deals with international issues like high-priority issues such as counterterrorism, counterintelligence, non-proliferation, international organized crime, narcotics trafficking and arms control intelligence.

It is worth to mention here that the Osama Bin Laden was killed in the seal operation conducted by the CIA.

About Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);

The Federal Bureau of Investigation deals with domestic issues related to USA. The main priorities of FBI are prevention of terrorism within the US and domestic law enforcement. FBI often provides assistance for state and local criminal investigations where their expertise and resources are needed.

Now have a look on the main Points of difference on FBI and CIA;

1. The CIA mostly operates outside the United States to gather intelligence via a network of spies whereas the FBI predominantly operates within the U.S. to gather intelligence as well as tackle federal crimes.

2. FBI operates under the U.S. Department of Justice and is responsible for enforcing Federal law while CIA is an independent agency.

3. The Central Intelligence Agency was created on September 18, 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman while the FBI was established on July 26, 1908.

4. In the FY 2016, the CIA had estimated 25,000 agents and 35,000 staff while FBI had estimated 13,000 agents, 22,000 staff and 3,000 intelligence analysts.

5. The annual budget of the CIA was Approx. $18 billion (2016) and FBI's budget was Approx $8.8 billion (2016).

6. The main functions of the CIA include overseas intelligence gathering and covert action. FBI on the other hand Protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks; Protect the U.S. against foreign intelligence operations and espionage, Combat public corruption at all levels and protect the USA against the global cyber attacks. FBI also investigates cases of murders, interstate crimes and kidnapping in the U.S.A.


7. When we differentiate these two agencies in terms of workload then it can be said that FBI has a wider range of responsibilities as compared to CIA.

Notwithstanding the above differences, the key objectives of these two global agencies are to protect USA from international threats and secure the life of its citizens.

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