Paul Joseph Watson & Kurt Nimmo
False flag terrorism – attacks manufactured or provocateured by governments and then blamed on other groups – is a tactic that stretches back almost 2,000 years.
Nero and the Great Fire of Rome
Legend claims Nero had one-third of the city torched as an excuse to build Domus Aurea, a 300 acre palatial complex that included a towering statue of himself, the Colossus of Nero.
Prior to the fire, the Roman Senate had rejected the emperor’s bid to level a third of the city to make way for a ‘Neropolis,’ an urban renewal project.
The Roman historian Tacitus wrote that when the population of Rome held Nero responsible for the fire, he shifted blame on the Christians for ‘hating the human race’ and starting the fire.
The Spanish American War: Remember the Maine
By the late 1800s, the United States was looking for an excuse to kick Spain out of Cuba. U.S. business was heavily invested in sugar, tobacco and iron on the Caribbean island.
The U.S.S. Maine was sent to Havana in January of 1898 to protect these business interests after a local insurrection broke out. Three weeks later, early on the morning of February 15, an explosion destroyed the forward third of the ship anchored in Havana’s harbor, killing more than 270 American sailors.
President McKinley blamed Spain after the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry declared that a naval mine caused the explosion.
American newspapers blamed the Spanish despite a lack of evidence. “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,” newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst told Frederic Remington after the illustrator reported that the situation in Cuba did not warrant invasion.
A number of historians and researchers later argued that the ship was blown up by the United States to provide a false flag pretext to invade Cuba and expel Spain.
The United States occupied Cuba from 1898 until 1902, although an amendment to a joint resolution of Congress forbid the U.S. to annex the country.
Wilson’s Pretext for War: The Sinking of the Lusitania
Nearly two thousand travelers, including one hundred Americans, were killed on May 7, 1915, when a German U-boat torpedoed the RMS Lusitania, a luxury Cunard Line British ocean liner.
Prior to the sinking, the German embassy in Washington issued a warning. Newspapers in the United States refused to print the warning or acknowledge the German claim that the ship carried munitions.
Wilson’s government issued a flurry of diplomatic protests after the sinking and exploited the tragedy two years later as a pretext for America to enter the First World War.
Nearly a hundred years later, in 2008, divers discovered the Lusitania carried more than four million rounds of rifle ammunition.
“There were literally tons and tons of stuff stored in unrefrigerated cargo holds that were dubiously marked cheese, butter and oysters,” Gregg Bemis, an American businessman who owns the rights to the wreck and is funding its exploration, told The Daily Mail.
Hitler’s Fascist Dictatorship: The Reichstag Fire
In February of 1933, a month after convincing Germany’s president that parliament must be eliminated, Hitler and the Nazis instigated the Reichstag fire.
Hitler then urged president Hindenburg to issue an emergency decree restricting personal liberty, including the right to free expression and a free press, limitations on the rights of association and assembly, warrantless searches of homes, property confiscation, and violations of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
The Nazis used the decree to crack down on their political opponents . They worked behind the scenes to force through the Enabling Act, which legally allowed Hitler to obtain plenary powers and establish a dictatorship.
Gestapo Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring would admit that, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
Prelude to World War: The Gleiwitz Incident
Six years after the Reichstag Fire, the Nazis staged the Gleiwitz incident. Nazi commandos raided a German radio station in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany. The raid was part of Operation Himmler, a series of operations undertaken by the SS as Hitler set the stage for the invasion of Poland and the start of the Second World War.
SS operatives dressed in Polish uniforms attacked the radio station, broadcast an anti-German message in Polish, and left behind the body of a German Silesian known for sympathizing with the Poles. The corpse was then offered to the press as evidence that the Poles had attacked the radio station.
Israeli False Flag Terror: The Lavon Affair
In 1954, the Israelis activated a terrorist cell in response to the United States making friends with the Egyptian government and its pan-Arab leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Israelis were worried Nasser would nationalize the Suez Canal and continue Egypt’s blockade of Israeli shipping through the canal.
Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion decided a false flag terrorist attack on American interests in Egypt would sour the new relationship. He recruited and dispatched a terror cell that pretended to be Egyptian terrorists.
The plan, however, contained a fatal flaw. Israel’s top secret cell, Unit 131, was infiltrated by Egyptian intelligence. After a member of the cell was arrested and interrogated, he revealed the plot and this led to more arrests. Israeli agents were subjected to a public trial revealing details of the plan to firebomb the U.S. Information Agency’s libraries, a British-owned Metro-Goldwyn Mayer theatre, a railway terminal, the central post office, and other targets.
In order to deflect blame, the Israeli government tried to frame its own Defense Minister, Pinhas Lavon, but the true nature of the plot was eventually made public.
Operation Northwoods: Targeting American Citizens
In the covert war against the communist regime in Cuba under the CIA’s Operation Mongoose, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously proposed state-sponsored acts of terrorism in side the United States.
The plan included shooting down hijacked American airplanes, the sinking of U.S. ships, and the shooting of Americans on the streets of Washington, D.C. The outrageous plan even included a staged NASA disaster that would claim the life of astronaut John Glenn.
Reeling under the embarrassing failure of the CIA’s botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, president Kennedy rejected the plan in March of 1962. A few months later, Kennedy denied the plan’s author, General Lyman Lemnitzer, a second term as the nation’s highest ranking military officer.
In November of 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Gulf of Tonkin: Phantom Attack on the U.S. Military
On August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson went on national television and told the nation that North Vietnam had attacked U.S. ships.
“Repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the United States must be met not only with alert defense, but with a positive reply. That reply is being given as I speak tonight,” Johnson declared.
Congress soon passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which provided Johnson with pre-approved authority to conduct military operations against North Vietnam. By 1969, over 500,000 troops were fighting in Southeast Asia.
Johnson and his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, had bamboozled Congress and the American people. In fact, North Vietnam had not attacked the USS Maddox, as the Pentagon claimed, and the “unequivocal proof” of an “unprovoked” second attack against the U.S. warship was a ruse.
Operation Gladio: State Sponsored Terror Blamed on the Left
Following the Second World War, the CIA and Britain’s MI6 collaborated through NATO on Operation Gladio, an effort to create a “stay behind army” to fight communism in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.
Gladio quickly transcended its original mission and became a covert terror network consisting of right wing militias, organized crime elements, agent provocateurs and secret military units. The so-called stay behind armies were active in France, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Switzerland.
Gladio’s “Strategy of Tension” was designed to portray leftist political groups in Europe as terrorists and frighten the populace into voting for authoritarian governments. In order to carry out this goal, Gladio operatives conducted a number of deadly terrorists attacks that were blamed on leftists and Marxists.
In August of 1980, Gladio operatives bombed a train station in Bologna, killing 85 people. Initially blamed on the Red Brigades, it was later discovered that fascist elements within the Italian secret police and Licio Gelli, the head of the P2 Masonic Lodge, were responsible for the terror attack. Other fascist groups, including Avanguardia Nazionale and Ordine Nuovo, were mobilized and engaged in terror.
Operation Gladio ultimately claimed the lives of hundreds of people across Europe.
According to Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a Gladio terrorist serving a life-sentence for murdering policemen, the reason for Gladio was simple. It was designed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security. This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.
Terror in the modern age
In the United States, the modern age of terrorism is defined by the FBI’s policy of fomenting and provocateuring patsy terrorists to carry out attacks via entrapment.
As the New York Times reported last year, the vast majority of domestic terror plots in recent years were “facilitated by the F.B.I.”
The most infamous case of the FBI steering a terror plot was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Before the attack, the FBI planted informant Emad A. Salem within a radical Arab group in New York led by Ramzi Yousef. Salem was ordered to encourage the group to carry out a bombing targeting the World Trade Center’s twin towers. Under the illusion that the project was a sting operation, Salem asked the FBI for harmless dummy explosives which he would use to assemble the bomb and then pass on to the group.
At this point the FBI cut Salem out of the loop and provided the group with real explosives, leading to the attack on February 26 that killed six and injured over a thousand people. The FBI’s failure to prevent the bombing was reported on by the New York Times in October 1993, as well as CBS News in the clip below.
Detroit Lawyer Kurt Haskell witnessed a well-dressed man help the “underwear bomber ” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab clear security before the attempted attack on an airliner on Christmas Day 2009 despite the fact that the bomber had no passport, in addition to the fact that his own father had warned U.S. intelligence officials of the threat posed by Abdulmutallab a month before the attempted attack.
It later emerged that the State Department was ordered not to revoke Abdulmutallab’s visa by “federal counterterrorism officials” even though the accused bomber had known terrorist ties.
Haskell maintains that Abdulmutallab was carrying a fake bomb and was the unwitting dupe in another case of government entrapment.
This is by no means an exhaustive length of cases involving false flag attacks steered or provocateured by governments – such an endeavor would fill an encyclopedia-sized book – but it is a reminder that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and only the myopically naive would fail to shine the spotlight on the state in the immediate aftermath of any terrorist attack.