German Intelligence Agencies - 2008
A List of the Current Intelligence Agencies of Germany:
- Federal Intelligence Service (BND) – Bundesnachrichtendienst is the foreign intelligence agency of the German government and is under the direct control of the Chancellor's Office. Its headquarters are currently in Pullach, near Munich, and Berlin. Plans are underway to centralize its HQ in Berlin by 2011. Check out their official website in German, or a machine translation in English.
- Military Security Service (MAD) – Militärischer Abschirmdienst, or more officially Amt für den Militärischen Abschirmdienst (in the past Amt für die Sicherheit der Bundeswehr), is located in Cologne and consists of 14 groups located in cities throughout Germany. Check out their official website in German, or a machine translation in English.
- Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) – Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz is the Federal Republic of Germany's domestic intelligence agency. Its headquarters in Cologne, is a federal institution under the control of the German Ministry of the Interior. Its main function is the surveillance of anti-constitutional activities in Germany. Check out their official website in English.
- State Offices for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV) – Landesbehörden für Verfassungsschutz exist in each of the 16 States, sometimes simply as a department within the respective Ministry of the Interior. Check out the official website for the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz/BfV (English) which coordinates their activities.
- There are very likely several other top-secret agencies, not openly acknowledged by the German government.
A list of German Intelligence Agencies from the Past:
- Abwehr - a German intelligence organization from 1921 to 1944. The term Abwehr (German for defense) was used as a concession to Allied demands that Germany's post-World War I intelligence activities be for "defensive" purposes only.
- Gestapo - the official secret police of Nazi Germany and the NSDAP. Its name came from the official abbrevation of "Geheimes Staatspolizei-Amt (GeStaPA)" (translation: Secret State Police Office) and soon became "Gestapo." Under the overall administration of the Schutzstaffel (SS), it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA - “head office of the reich security service”) and was considered a dual organization of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD - “security service”) and also a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei (SIPO - “security police”).
- Felix Dzerzhinsky Watch Regiment - (German: Wachtregiment "Feliks E. Dzierzynski") was an elite motorized rifles regiment under the command of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) of the German Democratic Republic (GDR/DDR). It was named in honor of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police. It was tasked with protecting government and party buildings in the GDR/DDR capital of East Berlin and the security of the party leaders' residential compound in Wandlitz, near East Berlin.
- Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung - General Reconnaissance Administration of the former East Germany (GDR/DDR). It was the foreign intelligence service of the GDR and was an integral part of the Stasi, the GDR Ministry of State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit / MfS)
- Intelligence Bureau for the East - (German: Nachrichtenstelle für den Orient) was a German intelligence organisation established on the eve of World War I dedicated to promoting and sustaining subversive and nationalist agitations in the British Indian Empire and the Persian and Egyptian satellite states.
- Sicherheitsdienst (SD - Security Service) was primarily the intelligence service of the SS and the NSDAP. It was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the Gestapo.
- Stasi / MfS - Ministry for State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit) commonly known as the Stasi (German abbreviation for: Staatssicherheit, literally State Security). It was the official secret police of East Germany (GDR/DDR).