Barry Royden, a former counterintelligence director at the CIA, spoke to Business Insider last month about the process of recruiting and managing secret agents and the agency’s role in counterterrorism, the website reported Tuesday.
Jonathan Fisher writes the 40-year CIA veteran has described a good spy as someone who has access to guarded information and is willing to cooperate with his or her handler.
“The hardest part of our business is getting new agents, getting people to work for us, to steal secrets and provide intelligence to the U.S. government,” Royden told Business Insider.
He noted cyber attacks, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism as the biggest threats to the U.S.’ national security.
Royden said in the interview that the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks prompted the establishment of a national intelligence office and a counterterrorism center.
“The main thing we learned is that closer, better cooperation is key among the different agencies,” he added.
He also told Business Insider that he believes the CIA should have a bigger structure and more technologies in order to gain a global coverage.