List of intelligence gathering disciplines

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This is a list of intelligence gathering disciplines.


Human intelligence—gathered from a person in the location in question.


Geospatial intelligence—gathered from satellite, aerial photography, mapping/terrain data

  • IMINT—Imagery intelligence: gathered from satellite and aerial photography


Measurement and signature intelligence:


Open-source intelligence—gathered from open sources.

Can be further segmented by source type; Internet/General, Scientific/Technical and various HUMINT specialties (e.g. trade shows, association meetings, interviews, etc.)


Signals intelligence—gathered from interception of signals

  • COMINT—Communications Intelligence
  • ELINT—Electronic Intelligence: gathered from electronic signals that do not contain speech or text (which are considered COMINT).
    • FISINT—Foreign instrumentation signals intelligence was formerly known as TELINT or telemetry intelligence. FISINT entails the collection and analysis of telemetry data from a missile or sometimes from aircraft tests.


Technical intelligence—gathered from analysis of weapons and equipment used by the armed forces of foreign nations, or environmental conditions.

  • MEDINT—Medical intelligence: gathered from analysis of medical records and/or actual physiological examinations to determine health and/or particular ailments/allergetic conditions for consideration.


Cyber Intelligence/Digital Network Intelligence—gathered from cyberspace


Financial intelligence—gathered from analysis of monetary transactions

See also[edit]