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List of intelligence gathering disciplines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of intelligence gathering disciplines.


Human intelligence (HUMINT) are gathered from a person in the location in question. Sources can include the following:

MI6 is often thought to use human intelligence to operate in different countries or Britain itself to protect the country from global affairs. However, this is usually confused with their brother agency MI5, which focuses on the security of Britain.[citation needed][1]


Financial intelligence (FININT) are gathered from analysis of monetary transactions.


Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) are gathered from satellite and aerial photography, or mapping/terrain data.


Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) are gathered from an array of signatures (distinctive characteristics) of fixed or dynamic target sources. According to the Air Force Institute of Technology's Center for MASINT Studies and Research, MASINT is split into six major disciplines: electro-optical, nuclear, radar, geophysical, materials, and radiofrequency.[2]

  1. Electro-optical MASINT
  2. Nuclear MASINT
  3. Geophysical MASINT
  4. Radar MASINT
  5. Materials MASINT
  6. Radiofrequency MASINT


Open-source intelligence (OSINT) are gathered from open sources. OSINT can be further segmented by the source type: Internet/General, Scientific/Technical, and various HUMINT specialties, e.g. trade shows, association meetings, and interviews.


Signals intelligence (SIGINT) are gathered from interception of signals.


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

  • Medical intelligence (MEDINT) – gathered from analysis of medical records and/or actual physiological examinations to determine health and/or particular ailments and allergic conditions for consideration

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Quinlan, Kevin. The Secret War between the Wars: MI5 in the 1920s and 1930s. Boydell & Brewer Ltd.
  2. ^ Center for MASINT Studies and Research. "Center for MASINT Studies and Research". Air Force Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2007-07-07. Retrieved 3 October 2007.