Although the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are covert and the field offices generally unknown, it is likely that a large number of special agents of the CIA focus their efforts specifically on foreign intelligence related to New York City. (It has been reported that a major CIA field office was located in the World Trade Center, greatly hampering the agency’s efforts for a period of time following 9/11.)
New York City, a symbol of Western capitalism, a beacon of freedom, and the epicenter of global markets, was the primary target of the most devastating attack in U.S. history on September 11, 2001.
From 2001 to 2010, the Justice Department had no less than 95 terrorism-related convictions. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of new York has secured nearly a quarter of all terrorism related convictions. In addition to New York City, New York State has four, designated high-threat, high-density metropolitan areas: Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, and Syracuse.
Since 9/11, the NYPD has become one of the most active domestic intelligence agencies. Reports have surfaced that the CIA has been instrumental with helping the NYPD transform the NYPD’s intelligence unit and develop a human mapping program that involves a number of undercover NYPD officers known as “rakers.”
Requirements for Joining the CIA National Clandestine Services in New York
There are two entry-level positions that are available for individuals interested in jobs with the CIA’s National Clandestine Service:
- PT Program – Candidates for the PT Program in New York are typically 21-25 years old and have a Bachelor’s degree at minimum. Candidates are not required to have any prior work related experience.
- CST Program – Candidates for the CST Program are typically between 26-35 years of age, with 35 being the age cut-off for consideration. Each individual must have a Bachelor’s degree at minimum, as well as prior work or military experience.
Scholastic Requirements and Occupational Skills
- Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies
- Have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
The preferred areas of study for the Core Collector position in New York include:
- Biological or Chemical Engineering
- International Business or Relations
- Nuclear or Physical Science
Occupational skills required for these jobs include:
- Interest in international affairs
- Ability to work as part of a team or independently
- Superior verbal or written communication skills
- Ability to act and think quickly
Travel History and International Experience
Each candidate should be fluent in one second language, with preference given to those who speak Indonesian, Russian, Somali, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Korean, Kurdish, Pashto, Persian, Turkish and Urdu. Individuals should also have prior residency abroad, respect of different cultures and knowledge of foreign countries.
Conditional Requirements for Consideration
During the application process, candidates are required to complete two interviews, have a complete medical and psychological exam, undergo a polygraph interview and background check. Each candidate should also have no illegal drug use 12 months prior to applying for the Core Collector position.
Becoming a CIA Special Agent in New York
Minimum Requirements – Individuals who want to learn how to become a CIA special agent in New York must first be able to meet the agency’s minimum requirements, which include:
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must be able to pass a top-secret security clearance
- Must be able to pass a background investigations
- Must be able to pass a polygraph examination
Education and Experience Requirements – Further, the job of a CIA agent requires specific education and experience requirements:
- Must possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Must possess at least 3 years of criminal investigative experience working with complex matters
Although specific areas of study are not a requirement, it is common for individuals interested in pursuing CIA agent jobs in New York to possess a bachelor’s degree in a criminal justice related field, such as:
- Criminal justice administration
- Homeland security
- Forensic psychology
Because CIA agents come from varied backgrounds, it is also quite common for individuals to possess engineering, computer science, and physical sciences degrees.
Training Requirements – Extensive training is a necessary and mandatory part of becoming a CIA agent in New York. Before a condition of employment can be extended, individuals must first complete the Criminal Investigation Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, a 56-day program focused on fundamental training in the techniques, concepts, and methodologies of conducting criminal investigations.
Just a few of the subjects covered in training include:
- Criminal cases management
- Physical techniques
- Physical conditioning
- Driving training
- Physical evidence
- Legal training
- Firearms training
Post 9/11 Terror Plots Disrupted in New York
The need for CIA partnerships is quite evident, as the Justice Department named at least 11 major terrorist plots against New York City since 9/11:
- 2002: “Lackawanna Six” plot
- 2003: Brooklyn Bridge plot
- 2004: Financial centers plot in New York City and Washington
- 2004: Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain plot in Albany
- 2004: Plot to bomb the New York subway and Madison Square Garden
- 2006: Liquid explosives plot in New York City, Washington and Los Angeles
- 2006: New York tunnels plot
- 2007: John F. Kennedy Airport bomb plot
- 2009: NY subway plot
- 2010: Times Square bomb plot