The role of the special agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is to locate, organize, and analyze intelligence related to issues related to espionage, terrorism and federal crime. Its mission throughout the United States and across the world is crucial to ensuring our nation’s resources, infrastructure, technology, and citizens are protected at all times.
Connecticut has a long history of foreign terrorist threats and activity which, as of 9/11, has become a primary focus of the CIA:
- September 1983: Los Macheteros, a radical organization that supports a free Puerto Rico, stole $7 million from a Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford. Several members of the organization were tried on federal charges in both Bridgeport and Hartford.
- June 1993: It was discovered that members of an Islamic terrorist group, plotting to blow up the United Nations, were testing homemade bombs in the Naugatuck Forest.
- Spring 2001: Four of the 9/11 hijackers met with the Jordanian national who was living in Bridgeport. He was later arrested for providing false identification cards to illegal aliens.
- April 2009: A former U.S. Navy signalman in New Haven was sentenced to 10 years in prison for disclosing movements of the U.S.S. Benson through emails to Azzam Publications in London. It was discovered that Azzam operated an Internet site that sought out people to fund and fight the Jihad.
Meeting the Qualifications to Become a Core Collector in Connecticut
Core Collectors in Connecticut are individuals that help high ranking government officials make decisions regarding national security by collecting and analyzing human intelligence. A core collector position with the CIA is considered to be highly competitive in nature with stringent qualifications to meet. Two entry-level career tracks are available based on an individual’s age, degree, and work experience.
Individuals ages 21-25 with no traditional work experience should apply to the Professional Trainee Program (PT) while individuals ages 26-35 with prior work or military experience should apply to the Clandestine Service Program (CST). Both programs require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree
Scholastic Qualifications – The following undergraduate majors are highly preferred by the CIA:
- biological engineering
- chemical engineering
- global business
- nuclear science
- physical sciences
Career Qualifications and Aptitude – The ability to work together as a team, as well as independently, is one trait that the CIA seeks in all Core Collectors. Individuals must also be able to perform well under pressure and maintain a calm composure when faced with less than ideal circumstances. In addition to having impeccable written and verbal skills, candidates must have a profound interest in international affairs.
Second Language Knowledge and Overseas Experience – Individuals with a history of a previous overseas residency are preferred. Having an extensive knowledge of another country is another invaluable skill. Candidates pursuing a career path as a Core Collector should be fluent in a foreign language such as:
Getting Hired – Before being offered a permanent position, individuals applying to the Core Collector position will go through a series of interviews, medical exams and background check.
Qualifying to Work as a Special Agent with the Central Intelligence Agency
As a federal agency, the CIA has a distinct set of employment requirements. Therefore, individuals who want to become CIA agents in Connecticut must:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Possess at least three years of experience in criminal investigations with a solid performance record and a history of solving complex matters
Bachelor’s degree programs frequently pursued by individuals interested in CIA jobs include:
- Criminal justice
- Homeland Security
- Physical sciences
- Computer science
Individuals who want to become CIA agents in Connecticut must apply online through the CIA online application system. The application process includes providing the agency with information regarding: work history, education, expertise, military experience, foreign area knowledge, foreign languages, and any certification and licenses.
They must also complete a Personnel Evaluation form, which is used to complete the required background investigation and security clearance. Information gleaned through these processes includes:
- Selective service registration
- Military discharges or other disciplinary proceedings
- Employment issues
- Any illegal drug activity or use
- Any crimes (felony or misdemeanor convictions)
- Delinquent federal debt
Training to become a CIA agent in Connecticut is a two-step process that includes a 56-day Criminal Investigation Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Iranian Espionage in Connecticut
A recent event in Connecticut confirms what many already know: that foreign spying and espionage is alive and well. In January 2013, an Iranian engineer (formerly of Connecticut) who worked with defense contractors was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport as he attempted to fly to Tehran via Germany. Federal officials brought him back to Connecticut and charged him with transporting interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by fraudulent or deceptive means.
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut said that the man attempted to ship to Iran proprietary material related to the Joint Strike Fighter program of the United States Air Force. Federal officials were able to intercept a number of documents that included sensitive technical manuals and specification sheets.