Most Americans think that the CIA works overseas while the FBI and local police protect them at home. But the agency has long worked domestically, and in the last decade it has become involved in counterterrorism operations with local police as well.
A recent report by the CIA’s inspector general shows that such cooperation can easily go wrong. Between 2002 and 2012 the CIA sent four agents to help the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit (which is led by a former agency official) without making sure that they knew the limits of what they could and couldn’t do. According to the inspector general, this type of “close and direct collaboration with any local domestic police department” could lead to the perception that the agency had “exceeded its authorities.”