What is the CIA?
Headquartered in Virginia, CIA is led by Director Gina Haspel
The Central Intelligence Agency, known as the CIA, is focused on investigating, and when necessary, thwarting national security threats against the United States.
The agency “preempts threats and further U.S. national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe,” according to the CIA’s website.
The agency is led by Director Gina Haspel, who was confirmed in May 2018 and previously worked under former CIA director Mike Pompeo until President Donald Trump appointed him secretary of state.
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Haspel, a veteran spy, was the first female director of the agency. She spent nearly all of her 33-year CIA career in undercover positions.
The CIA director serves "as head of the United States intelligence community" and "the principal adviser to the President for intelligence matters related to the national security," according to the agency's website.
The CIA is headquartered on a campus in Langley, Virginia, in Fairfax County, and is not open to the public.
The agency was first formed in July 1941, but was called many things before being given its current name, according to the CIA’s website.
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Over the course of six years, it went from being called the Office of the Coordinator of Information, the Office of Strategic Services, the Strategic Services Unit, and the Central Intelligence Group before being named the Central Intelligence Agency, which was created through the National Security Act of 1947, the website states.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.