National Intelligence Center


May 17, 2022

The Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI; German National Intelligence Center) is the intelligence agency of the Kingdom of Spain. This was brought into being by law in November 2002. Predecessor was known Centro Superior de Información de la Defensa (CESID). The main objective of the CNI is to provide the government with the necessary information to counter risks and threats to the independence or integrity of Spain. Equally important are national interests and the stability of the rule of law. It is stipulated by law that the targets are set annually and reviewed by the Council of Ministers. These are then laid down in writing in the secret information directive. Apart from this control body, there is also a judicial control. The activities of the CNI are reviewed by a judge appointed by the Consejo General del Poder Judicial (staffed by the President of the Constitutional Court, Tribunal Supremo (TS)). The Público newspaper published reports in 2019 that the CNI was in contact with the terrorist leadership in the run-up to the Islamist attacks in Barcelona and the attempted attack in Cambrils in 2017. The leader of the terrorist cell, Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, was a CNI informant. In May 2022, Esteban was fired as director of the CNI after it was revealed that her agency had infected the mobile phones of Catalan separatists with Pegasus spyware. Her presumptive successor will be Esperanza Casteleiro.


José María Bourgon López-Dóriga, 1977-1979 Gerardo Mariñas, 1979-1981 Emilio Alonso Manglano, 1981-1995 Felix Miranda, 1995-1996 Javier Calderon, 1996-2001 Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo, 2001-2004 Alberto Saiz Cortes, 2004-2009 Felix Sanz Roldan, 2009-2019 Paz Esteban López, 2020-2022 (2019-2020 a.i.) Esperanza Casteleiro, since 2022

See also

List of intelligence services

Web Links

Official website of the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (Spanish)

Individual proofs