Listfilter for "faked" terrorism
November 7, 2011 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me about terrorist-like attacks perpetrated, or verifiably planned, by governments against their own people, with the intent of blaming other parties?

I'm interested in terrorist attacks for which serious effort was put into blaming other parties, not simply cases where the government handled the violence, but offered vague excuses pointing towards other factors, like say the Armenian genocide.

An example of a perpetrated attack is the Sharm el-Sheikh resort bombings by the Egyptian SSIS. In this case, the resort itself was the primary target while blaming fundamentalists was a side benefit.

An example of a verifiably planned attack is Operation Northwoods by the U.S.'s CIA. In this case, American casualties were a side effect while the primary goal was laying blame on Cuba.
posted by jeffburdges to Law & Government (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Reichstag fire is often considered an example, but apparently we don't know whether the Nazis were actually involved in setting it.
posted by grobstein at 4:14 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: The Mukden Incident may also be of interest.
posted by argonauta at 4:20 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: Operation Himmler was done to get out the hate for Poles.
posted by Winnemac at 4:29 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: You probably know about the Moscow apartment bombings -- rumored to be a case.
posted by grobstein at 4:32 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: Nobody really knows who shot down the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, the event that sparked a genocide. Some say the Tutsi rebels, some say rogue elements of the Hutu-led government. Either way, the Tutsi people were blamed, and hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Not with guns, bombs or poison gas. They were mostly killed by hand.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:44 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: Remember the Maine -- not at all verified, but suspected.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:49 PM on November 7, 2011

Response by poster: I should've said "highly credible claims" rather than "verified". I mostly just wanted to avoid that transparent veneer that all modern genocide cases use, focussing instead upon cases where real historians think a coverup existed, although verified is obviously even better. Thanks for all the answer thus far!
posted by jeffburdges at 5:05 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: The Shelling of Mainila by the Soviet Union to place blame on Finland and start war. If you can read Russian the case is pretty solid
posted by Blasdelb at 5:12 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: The 2001 anthrax attacks.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:31 PM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Italy. In the 60's. There's a Wikipedia page for it, apparently the CIA was involved.

(I believe this terrorism was a background for a famous Italian film where the actress who plays the female lead keeps changing...but google fails me. Someone else will know. I believe there is an explosion in the last scene of the film...Anywho...)

I first heard the events in Italy discussed on a news podcast and I was fascinated. Earlier this year when there was a bombing at a church in Alexandria, Egypt, I suspected it was a false flag event because the bombing featured all the hallmarks of a false flag-type operation which had been discussed in that podcast. Sure enough, as Mubarek was ousted from power, the truth came out.
posted by jbenben at 6:01 PM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: jbenben hit it - the search term you want is False Flag operations.
posted by benzenedream at 12:22 AM on November 8, 2011

Best answer: I believe this terrorism was a background for a famous Italian film where the actress who plays the female lead keeps changing

French-Spanish That Obscure Object of Desire. While there were political undertones to the film, I don't think it speaks directly to the question here.

False flag is certainly one term; agents provocateur is another. The FBI often used these during the red-baiting and civil rights eras, particularly through a program known as COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence program).
posted by dhartung at 12:39 AM on November 8, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, google finds lots under false flag operations. Thanks!
posted by jeffburdges at 3:52 AM on November 8, 2011

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