A nation's security is not only dependent on its army but also on its intelligence agencies. These intel agencies are curated out of the best spies that know all the tricks to pull out the deepest buried secrets.
Here is the list of the most powerful spy agencies in the world:
1. Research and Analysis Wing
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
The primary aim of RAW is to monitor the movement and activities of the neighboring countries. The agency came into being after the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the India-Pakistan war of 1965, which exposed gaps in intelligence gathering undertaken by the Intelligence Bureau. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her government thus felt the need for an agency that would raise an alarm, and protect India before it went to war, or was hit by a terror attack.
Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel
Mossad has been a part of some of the most daring undercover operations in the world. This special operation and foreign intelligence agency launched operation 'Wrath of God' to track down and kill all the PLO activists responsible for hostage and killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
3. Central Intelligence Agency
Headquarters: Fairfax, USA
The CIA is one major reason behind America’s domination over the world. This agency plays a vital role in maintaining the USA's position as a superpower and mediate foreign policy intelligence and analysis countrywide. For doing the same, the CIA once owned dummy corporation, "Air America," that operated as a civilian airline but was used to conduct military operations in Laos, Indochina border, etc.
4. Military Intelligence, Section 6
Headquarters: London, UK
MI6 is one of the oldest intelligence agencies and has existed in various forms since the establishment of a secret service in 1569 by Sir Francis Walsingham, who became secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth I. It was constituted in its present form in 1909 by Commander (later Sir) Mansfield Cumming as part of Britain’s attempt to coordinate intelligence activities prior to the outbreak of World War I. Even today the agency works with top agencies like the CIA to helps them in their missions.
5. Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Headquarters: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Australian Secret Intelligence Service aka ASIS is the Australian government intelligence agency responsible for collecting foreign intelligence, undertaking counter-intelligence activities and cooperation with other intelligence agencies overseas. For more than twenty years, the existence of the agency was a secret even from its own government. However, once came into limelight, it was examined by the Royal Commission thrice for its operations in the year 1974 and 1983 and in 1994.
6. Directorate General for External Security
DGES is the external intelligence agency of France that is operating under the direction of the French ministry of defense. The agency works alongside the DCRI (the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence) and has one of the most interesting logos. The bird of prey represents the sovereignty, operational capacities, international operational nature, and the efficiency of the DGSE in the logo of the agency. France is depicted as a sanctuary in the logo and the lines depict the networks utilized by the DGES.
7. The Bundesnachrichtendienst
The BND collects and evaluates information on a variety of areas such as international terrorism, WMD proliferation and illegal transfer of technology, etc. Created in April 1956, it absorbed the “Gehlen Organization,” a covert intelligence force which was created by Major general Reinhard Gehlen after World War II and which cooperated with U.S. intelligence agencies.
8. Ministry of State Security
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Ministry of State Security is the security agency of the People’s Republic of China whose aim is to ensure the security of the state through effective measures against enemy agents, spies, etc. The Ministry of State Security runs run China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) that has several scholars to do research and analysis as well as consult with foreign officials.
9. Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
Headquarters: Lubyanka Square, Russia
FSD is the main domestic security agency of the Russian Federation and is responsible for internal security of the Russian state, counterespionage, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and drug smuggling. In 2011, the FSB prevented 94 "crimes of a terrorist nature", including eight terrorist attacks and also foiled a planned suicide bombing in Moscow on New Year's Eve.
10. Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Headquarters: Ottawa, Canada
CSIS is the intelligence agency of Canada that looks into the national security of the country. Duties of CSIS include collecting intelligence, running covert operations, and advising the government on potential security threats. The CSIS is also Canada’s representative in the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.