42 ADMITTED False Flag Attacks

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Painting by Anthony Freda

Governments from Around the World Admit They Do It

There are many documented false flag attacks, where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.

In the following 42 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admits to it, either orally or in writing:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and falsely blame it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, this and this).

(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(11) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

(12) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.

(13) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(14) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(15) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(16) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(17) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(20) The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(21) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(22) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(23) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).

(24) An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked”.

(25) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).

(26) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(27) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(28) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.

(29) Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(30) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(31) Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers).

(32) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(33) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(34) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(35) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).

(36) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(37) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(38) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(39) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(40) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(41) The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others.

(42) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

In addition, two-thirds of the City of Rome burned down in a huge fire on July 19, 64 A.D. The Roman people blamed the Emperor Nero for starting the fire. Some top Roman leaders – including the Roman consul Cassius Dio, as well as historians like Suetonius – agreed that Nero started the fire (based largely on the fact that the Roman Senate had just rejected Nero’s application to clear 300 acres in Rome so that he could build a palatial complex, and that the fire allowed him to build his complex). Regardless of who actually started the fire, Nero – in the face of public opinion accusing him of arson – falsely blamed the Christians for starting the fire. He then rounded up and brutally tortured and murdered scores of Christians for something they likely didn’t do.

We didn’t include this in the list above, because – if Nero did start the fire on purpose – he did it for his own reasons (to build his palatial complex), and not for geopolitical reasons benefiting his nation.

So Common … There’s a Name for It

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

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  • Chir

    And yet Governments worldwide are astounded when some of the population does not believe them.

    • disqus_3BrONUAJno

      They hope that their management of our disbelief will be more successful than our management of our incredulity.

  • Joe Lizak

    The perpetrator of false flag attacks usually have one thing in common. Their troops occupy a foreign countries soil. Now…can someone tell me? How many military bases does the US have around the world?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Was the attack on Pearl Harbor a false flag attack?

    • probably. the US had the intel on the plan for almost a year

      • disqus_3BrONUAJno

        The intel was of the Japanese plans, which the president’s cabinet followed step by step from communications among Japan’s military command, whose codes they had long since breached.

      • Truth Unites… and Divides

        A commenter below by the name Gil G. said it’s not a false flag.

        • I wasn’t around back then so I couldn’t say %100, but in my opinion frankly when you have the intel and (for whatever reason, tactical, political, whatever ) you let it happen to gain from it, I’d say that qualifies as a FF

          • pharmerdavid

            The government of the USA did more than just have intel – they orchestrated the situation intentionally. How about this: “false flag by suckering a future ‘enemy’ into committing a strategic blunder of an attack”…?

          • I’m not going to dig back through this ancient thread to reacquaint myself with this discussion so, sure, whatever you say.

    • Chir

      FDR knew exactly what would happen when he cut off the US oil exports to Japan. He knew there would be an attack giving him the justification to openly declare war on Japan and Germany. This was needed to push America from pacifism to a war footing to help England. I don’t think he knew that Japan would attack Pearl.

      • disqus_3BrONUAJno

        Our military knew it, so there is no reason why FDR wouldn’t have. The question is, why was the impending attack discussed on the front page of the Honolulu paper a week before?

        • Truth Unites… and Divides

          Really? The Honolulu paper published it the week before?
          Wonder if it was the same paper that published Obama’s birth announcement.

          • disqus_3BrONUAJno

            Nope, that was photoshopped at the same time as his birth certificate. Joe Arpaio’s posse said the latter was seven layers, and used “t”s from two different typewriters in filling the mother’s occupation field.

    • disqus_3BrONUAJno

      Of course not, the attack was carried out by the Japanese, who had been provoked into doing so by our government, which gave them a choice between attacking us and being starved out of existence by a blockade, an act of war under international law, that we had impressed for long enough to make them desperate.

      • Truth Unites… and Divides

        So provoking a potential enemy and then using the response to our provocation to launch our true agenda is NOT technically a false flag. Is there another term for this type of strategy?

        • disqus_3BrONUAJno

          Provocation, and the actor(s), agent(s) provocateur.

          • pharmerdavid

            “False flag by provocation”…?

          • Well, you can call it whatever you want. I’ll just stick with treason, for simplicity.

    • Joe Lizak

      The US had a strangle hold on Japan when they cut off their supply of oil. The US had other sanctions on Japan too. The US lured Japan into attacking. You could say Japan was baited.

      • Truth Unites… and Divides

        So if you bait someone to do something as a pretext to justify your true agenda is not a false flag, is that correct?
        Hypothetical. If your son or daughter had been killed because the U.S. government baited another party, would you want to file a lawsuit against your government?
        Just curious. I doubt that any next of kin filed a lawsuit against the U.S. govt after Pearl Harbor.

        • pharmerdavid

          The same banksters that control the government control the judicial system, plus people back then didn’t know it was a “false flag by provocation attack”… (DUH!!!)

    • Gil G


      • pharmerdavid

        Please tell me you aren’t “Gil Gamboa” – my old boss (your avatar)..?

    • jf

      and add to it that a top Admiral was offered the command of the Navy base at Pearl Harbor and turned it down saying that the base would be attacked

      • Truth Unites… and Divides

        Wow. That has a certain stench.

        • jf

          The US needed something big to happen so that they could gain popularity with the people and enter the war

      • disqus_3BrONUAJno

        He probably smelled something when the base radar station was shut down, as were all of the shipboard radars.

        • jf

          no It was Admiral Nimitz I believe. He had turned down the offer months in advance of the attack. He had said that the Japanese would attack it and the man in charge would be fired as base commander

  • Mark
  • Mike St James

    Appreciate the comprehensive list. However, the Hitler quote about terrorism is almost certainly false. These things slip by us; but we should be diligent in sourcing quotes so as not to reflect poorly on the body of material in which they are use.

  • Jon Geissinger

    And this is just the FINE edge of the list.

  • Gil G

    Why keep harping on Operation Northwoods? A false-flag attack was proposed then immediately rejected – hardly conspiracy fodder.

    • pharmerdavid

      Because it was resurrected on 9/11/01…maybe…?

  • jf

    and we can add a lot of these recent shootings too… amazing that the perpetrators are either killed or kill themselves before they can be questioned

  • jf

    It is said that the US also blew up the Main while it sat in Havana Cuba as a pretense to the Spanish-American war as well

    • pharmerdavid

      Yes that happened too. Every war is begun by false-flag attacks, the Zionists being the masters of deception – Israel was created by false-flag terrorsm, and is sustained by it. If you live by terrorism, you die by terrorism. The rest of the planet needs to wake the flock up!!

  • nomark

    They do them because they work. When people stop falling for the trick, false flags will cease. Till then, we are all at risk.

  • RE


  • pharmerdavid

    Wait a minute…this article is from last year…! DUH!!!!!!