Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

'I spy with my little eye': CIA joins Instagram and invites the public to crack a case

America's Central Intelligence Agency just posted a highly cryptic message on the photo-sharing app

It looks like something straight out of an escape room set-up. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is giving would-be sleuths the chance to crack a high-profile case, as it joined the world of Instagram this week, in a bid to recruit talented young Americans.

It seems the organisation that's best known for secrecy and spies also has a sense of humour, as its first post came with a cryptic message: "I spy with my little eye", which captioned the image that's said to be riddled with clues.

A desk is scattered with paperwork and objects, many of which have been collected from current CIA employees, a spokesperson told CBS News. For example, there is a photo of director Gina Haspel from her 1985 entrance on duty badge, alongside a blue "evil eye", which is said to come from her office. And a notebook lays open, with the words "share what we can, protect what we must", written in Arabic.

Click on the highlighted points in the image above to learn more about the objects on display.

The Agency's second post included 10 brightly coloured, comic book-style artworks, with the caption: "CIA officers are skilled in more ways than one! Check out some of their artwork that's being featured at this year's #Awesomecon", referring to Washington DC's Comic Con, which ends today.

Why Instagram?

"Joining Instagram is another way we're sharing CIA's stories and recruiting talented Americans to serve here," a CIA spokesperson said in a statement, reports CBS News. "Through the account, we'll give a peek into Agency life, but we can't promise any selfies from secret locations."

The post got more than 2,000 followers and 100 comments within hours. Two days later, at the time of writing, there were almost 90,000 followers.

The account joins the CIA's growing social media presence, which also encapsulates Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CIA director Gina Haspel first revealed plans to join the platform during a question-and-answer session at Auburn University, Alabama, US, last week. She had been asked how the intelligence community had changed in the past few years, to which she responded that one big difference was their new hires were social-media-savvy.

It seems the Agency has a few secrets it wants to share.

Updated: April 28, 2019 02:25 PM

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