The FBI uses intelligence to drive its decision-making. The information we get through intelligence gathering and sharing guides us in our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.

The FBI’s Intelligence Branch (IB) supports intelligence operations across our field offices and Headquarters divisions by managing our intelligence strategy, resources, policies, and programs. The IB also engages with the FBI’s partners in the intelligence, law enforcement, private sector, and academic communities.

Gathering Intelligence

Gathering intelligence has always been critical to fulfilling the FBI’s mission. Some techniques we use to do this include interviews, wiretaps, and data analysis.

While the need for intelligence hasn’t changed, the threats confronting the country have evolved—and we’re constantly adapting to combat the threats we’re facing at home and abroad.

FBI employees participate in a meeting.

Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties

Regardless of the intelligence-gathering technique, the FBI follows all laws, policies, and procedures designed to protect the privacy of the American people.

Intelligence collection is governed by:

  • The attorney general’s guidelines
  • Procedures for national security investigations and foreign intelligence collection
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • Federal law
  • Established criminal procedures
  • Authorities controlled by U.S. courts.

“I was walking through a courtyard down at Quantico. And I spotted a small engraved stone ... The stone had an engraving of the Twin Towers, and underneath the engraving were the words, ‘Intelligence Matters.’”

FBI Director Christopher Wray

Sharing Intelligence 

Intelligence Community

The FBI is a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC)—a group of 17 federal agencies that collect intelligence. In addition to using intelligence to investigate and solve cases, the FBI shares it with other members of the IC who may be able to use the information.

Law Enforcement

The FBI often shares intelligence with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Our Office of Partner Engagement works with the law enforcement community to build strategic partnerships, enhance capabilities, and support critical information sharing.

Private Sector

Through our Office of Private Sector, the FBI regularly shares information with the U.S. private sector and educational institutions to help them stay ahead of threats and mitigate the risks posed by criminals, terrorists, and nation-state actors. This collaboration helps protect our economic and national security.

Intelligence Workforce

The FBI's intelligence workforce includes:

  • Special agents
  • Intelligence analysts
  • Language analysts
  • Staff operations specialists
  • Data scientists and analysts
  • Professional staff

To learn more about intelligence careers in the FBI, visit

Intelligence News

Related FBI Programs