What is the difference between these two groups…as far as juridicition, authority, etc?

The general distinction is that FBI is internal (the US’s national police force) and the CIA deals with external threats. I’m sure others will come along with better explainations.

I always heard that the CIA was in charge of espionage, etc., particularly in other countries, while the FBI was the chief law-enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the US.

But that’s just off the top of my head, and I could be way off.

… and Telemark already said that. Drat!

From FBI Mission Statement

From CIA site

and also

and even

The FBI enforces federal laws. The CIA gathers intelligence, i.e., a spy agency.

The FBI is a law enforcement agency. It’s job is to investigate federal crimes, and to help state and municipal law enforcement agencies by providing them with certain services.

The CIA is an intelligence agency. It gathers and analyzes intelligence from the various other intelligence services, and spies on foreign countries.

Ah, thanks. It seems they share some of the same mystique and rarely any information.

I had no idea the CIA had no police authority.

As a very general overview:

FBI is a law enforcement agency, operating mostly internally in the US, and has responsibility for counter-espionage (catching spies in US);

CIA is an intelligence-gathering agency, forbidden by law to conduct operations internally in the US.

All very nicely and neatly laid out by the US Congress, but unfortunately, the real world frequently fails to cooperate, and CIA foreign operations often interact with FBI domestic operations since espionage/terrorist/etc. organizations refuse to segregate their activities to match US law.

How does the NSA fit into all this? And are all these now gathered under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security?

The NSA’s job is to provide government agencies with cryptographic services and to intercept communications in foreign countries.

The US “Intelligence Community” consists of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the intelligence branches of the four armed services and the coast guard, the departments of State, Energy, Treasury and Homeland Security, and the FBI.

Each of these is responsible for different aspects of intelligence operations.

The CIA is an independent agency (not part of any cabiet Department) and its head, the Director of Central Intelligence, is also the head of the entire Intelligence Community.

The FBI, part of the Department of Justice, works with the Intelligence Community by providing counterintelligence operations and investigations into spies and terrorists inside the US. As stated above, the FBI is a law-enforcement agency and investigates violations of federal statutes here and abroad.

The NSA, part of the Department of Defense (but not a military force) provides cryptographic services and signals intelligence. Their job is both to create codes for the good guys to use and to break codes that the bad guys use.

The NRO, part of the Department of Defense, buils and operates spy satellites.

NIMA is a relatively new agency, part of the Department of Defense, which provides extremely detailed maps of all sorts to the military and intelligence agencies, using sources from satellites, reconassaince planes, seismic data, and all sorts of other neat stuff.

Each armed force (Air Force, Navy, Marines and Army) each have their own intelligence offices, which provide battlefield intelligence, behind-enemy-lines espionage and other services to their specific branch. Intelligence from the service-level agencies makes its way to DIA and the CIA as needed.

The DIA, part of the Department of Defense, provides the armed services and other members of the Intelligence Community with battlefield-related intelligence data, and coordinates the efforts of the four services’ own intelligence branches. The director of the DIA is also the chair of the Military Intelligence Board, which oversees and coordinates the intelligence activities of all DoD based intelligence agencies.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research, part of the Department of State, provides the Intelligence Community with foreign-policy and diplomatic related intelligence. They also analyize intelligence activity from a foreign-policy perspective.

The Intelligence Office off the Department of Energy provides the Intelligence Community with information about nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and energy systems the world over.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Intelligence Support is the only Treasury agency which is a member of the IC, and provides intelligence related to economic activity, world currencies, counterfeiting and the protection of US assets here and abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security is also a member of the IC, coordinating the Community with state and local governments for emergency response purposes.

Clear as mud, right?

Actually, that was very informative, FRIEDO. Thanks.

The CIA, if they’re prepared.

The winner is: CIA

NIMA also performs IMINT (imagery intelligence, e.g. photos from satellites, reconaissance planes, UAVs) analysis, in addition to the mapping services.