False Flag

False flag attacks are operations in which an attack is staged in such a way that it looks as if someone else is responsible for it. The term originates from maritime warfare, where a ship raises a false flag to deceive its opponents.

Conspiracy theorists believe that during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. knew about and allowed the attack to occur to garner public support for entering World War II. Often mentioned is also the well-documented secret plan (known as Operation Northwoods) by the US military in 1962 to carry out a series of terrorist attacks inside the country and blame Fidel Castro in order to create a pretext for an invasion of Cuba. However, President John F. Kennedy cancelled the launch of this operation.