What is the Difference Between the FBI and the CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are two organizations in the United States of America that keep a tab on the national security and any suspected criminal activities taking place inside the country. These two agencies are known to collaborate and share information with each other in some cases but they have different work focus. The main and primary difference is in their names: CIA is related to intelligence whereas FBI is a crime investigator.

Responsibilities of FBI have a wider scope than the CIA. Besides their domestic office, they also have foreign offices to coordinate information. The foreign offices inform about any potential threats from other parts. It determines what actions need to be taken to ensure security in the country. It sends its officers wherever there is a threat. The network of CIA is very extensive and they have the latest and very sophisticated equipment to gather intelligence. They have a lot of people working for them overseas. The CIA exchanges information with many different agencies and also gives relevant information about threats to FBI.

Related: Difference Between FBI and Police Officer

The FBI is also responsible for the law enforcement in the state. It handles the issues which local law enforcement find difficult to handle: tracking down missing people, criminal evidence analysis and also the support needed for the crime victims. FBI agents often help the police to track down people or handle cases which have large amount of money at stake and also multiple homicide cases. CIA on the other hand is not concerned with law enforcement in the state. There workers are mainly stationed in the Washington headquarter. The agents in the US collect information and do intelligence collection for the president and also the white house. On special orders they also carry out actions overseas on behalf of the US.


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    FBI was created during the time of President Roosevelt in 1908. At the start it was a special team to investigate unique cases. It was made to improve the justice in the country and reduce corruption. The FBI collects information related to national security performs investigation of crimes and enforces law.

    Related: How to Become a Police Officer

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    The CIA was created in the 1942 as the strategic services office; its job was to collect intelligence related to war. It was later realized that the agency should continue working and was named CIA. The CIA is not responsible for domestic security and is an international intelligence agency.

    Related: How to To Become a Homicide Detective

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