False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though 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 can be used in peace-time
False Flag agent:
The case of Vincenzo Vinciguerra
Vincenzo Vinciguerra (born 1949) is an Italian neo-fascist activist, a former member of the Avanguardia Nazionale ("National Vanguard") and Ordine Nuovo ("New Order"). He is currently serving a life-sentence for the murder of three policemen by a car bomb in Peteano in 1972. The investigation in this previously unsolved affair by prosecutor Felice Casson led to the revelation of "Gladio" networks around Western Europe.
The 1972 Peteano bombing
Following juridical investigations, it has been discovered that the C4 explosive (the most powerful explosive available at the time) used in the 1972 bombing came from a Gladio arms dump located beneath a cemetery near Verona, whose existence was revealed to judges Felice Casson and Carlo Mastelloni by Giulio Andreotti, former Prime minister of Italy. Judge Casson's investigations revealed that Marco Morin, an explosives expert who worked for the Italian police and a member of Ordine Nuovo far-right group, had deliberately provided a fake expertise, claiming that the explosives used were the same that the Red Brigades used. However, Casson demonstrated that the explosives were in fact C4, which was used by NATO. A group of Carabinieri had accidentally discovered on February 24, 1972, an arms dump near Trieste, containing arms, munitions and C4 identical to the one used in Peteano the same year. According to historian Daniele Ganser,
Casson's investigation revealed that the right-wing organization Ordine Nuovo had collaborated very closely with the Italian Military Secret Service, SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa). Together, they had engineered the Peteano terror and then wrongly blamed the militant extreme Italian left, the Red Brigades. Judge Casson identified Ordine Nuovo member Vincenzo Vinciguerra as the man who had planted the Peteano bomb... He confessed and testified that he had been covererd by an entire network of sympathizers in Italy and abroad who had ensured that after the attack he could escape. 'A whole mechanism came into action', Vinciguerra recalled, 'that is, the Carabinieri, the Minister of the Interior, the customs services and the military and civilian intelligence services accepted the ideological reasoning behind the attack." 
Testimony concerning the 1980 Bologna massacre
In 1984, questioned by judges about the 1980 Bologna station bomb Vinciguerra said: "With the massacre of Peteano, and with all those that have followed, the knowledge should by now be clear that there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages...[it] lies within the state itself...There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men, in an anti-Soviet capacity that is, to organise a resistance on Italian soil against a Russian army...A secret organisation, a super-organisation with a network of communications, arms and explosives, and men trained to use them...A super-organisation which, lacking a Soviet military invasion which might not happen, took up the task, on Nato's behalf, of preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did, with the assistance of the official secret services and the political and military forces.
Vinciguerra's allegations concerning NATO
Vinciguerra also made this statement to The Guardian : "The terrorist line was followed by camouflaged people, people belonging to the security apparatus, or those linked to the state apparatus through rapport or collaboration. I say that every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single, organised matrix... Avanguardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuovo (the main right-wing terrorist group active during the 1970s), were being mobilised into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organisations deviant from the institutions of power, but from within the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state's relations within the Atlantic Alliance."
Testimony concerning Chilean general Carlos Prats' 1974 assassination
Along with Stefano Delle Chiaie, Vinciguerra testified in Rome in December 1995 before judge Maria Servini de Cubria that Enrique Arancibia Clavel (a former Chilean secret police agent prosecuted for crimes against humanity in 2004 ) and US expatriate DINA agent Michael Townley were directly involved in Chilean General Carlos Prats' assassination in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
- Mariano Rumor (in an interview, Vincenzo Vinciguerra declared that he was asked to kill Mariano Rumor)
- strategy of tension
- ^ "CIA Organized Secret Army in Western Europe". Washington Post. 1990-11-14.
- ^ Daniele Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Franck Cass, London, 2005, pp.3-4
- ^ a b "Strage di Piazza Fontana spunta un agente USA". La Repubblica. February 11, 1998. http://www.repubblica.it/online/fatti/fontana/fontana/fontana.html. Retrieved 2007-02-20. (With original documents, including juridical sentences and the report of the Italian Commission on Terrorism) (Italian)
- ^ a b "Secret agents, freemasons, fascists . . . and a top-level campaign of political 'destabilisation'". The Guardian. 1990-12-05.
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