Perhaps the best-known instance in which Israel used a “false flag” to cover its own trail was in the infamous Lavon Affair in which, in July of 1954, there was a series of bombings in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt. Among the targets were the libraries of the United States Information Service in both cities. In fact, the bombings were an operation by Israeli Military Intelligence who hoped both Egyptian President Nasser and the outside world would believe the attacks were carried out by militant Egyptian Muslim fundamentalists angry at Nasser’s friendly relations with the U.S. and Britain.
Israel’s ultimate purpose was to destabilize Nasser’s relationships with both the U.S. and Britain and compel the British to withdrawal from their bases on the Suez Canal (although, in fact, in the end, no British targets were bombed, the initial plan notwithstanding).
According to Colonel Benjamin Gibli, Israel’s chief of military intelligence and the senior army officer responsible for sending the final signal to Cairo to initiate the bombings, he had been given his orders by Defense Minister Pinchas Lavon whose instructions were as follows:
“[Our goal is] to break the West’s confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime . . . The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations, and expressions of revenge. The Israeli origin should be totally covered while attention should be shifted to any other possible factor. The purpose is to prevent economic and military aid from the West to Egypt.”
The operatives placing the bombs were Egyptian Jews working for Israeli intelligence. However, Egyptian security uncovered the plot and eleven people were taken into custody. In the end, two were executed. The others were sentenced to long prison terms.
Ultimately Israel’s involvement in the affair became public and Israel was rocked in the wake of the scandal. Competing political elements in Israel used the scandal as a bludgeon against their opponents. But the truth about Israel’s use of a “false flag” had come to international attention and demonstrated how it was willing to needlessly endanger innocent lives as part of its strategy to expand its global influence.
To the degree that it is recognized for what it was—a “false flag” attack by Israel—the Lavon Affair is an acknowledged event in history, that has been documented even in multiple “mainstream” sources.
But the Lavon Affair was just one of many false flag operations by Israel, and over the years, in the pages of The Spotlight (forerunner of AMERICAN FREE PRESS) international correspondent Andrew St. George focused on a number of the more notorious incidents. Here are a few of them:
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• A shadowy “right wing” group known as “Direct Action” was accused of the attack on Goldenberg’s Deli in Paris on August 9, 1982. Six people died and 22 were injured. The leader of “Direct Action” was one Jean-Marc Rouillan who had been operating in the Mediterranean under the cover name of “Sebas” and who had been repeatedly linked to the Mossad. All references to Rouillan’s Mossad links were deleted from the official reports issued at the time.
However, the Algerian national news service—which had ties to French intelligence—blamed the Mossad for Rouillan’s activities. Angry French intelligence officers were believed to have leaked this information to the Algerians. Several top French security officials quit in protest over this cover-up of Mossad complicity in Rouillan’s crimes. However, other Mossad false flag operations also took place on French soil.
• On October 3, 1980, a synagogue on Copernicus Street was bombed in Paris. Four bystanders were killed. Nine were injured. A worldwide media frenzy followed the incident. Reports held that “right wing extremists” were responsible. Yet, all of the “right wing extremists” who were questioned were released. In the upper echelons of French intelligence, the finger of suspicion was pointed at the Mossad.
• On April 6, 1979, the same Mossad terror unit suspected of the Copernicus carnage blew up the heavily guarded plant of CNIM industries in southeast France, where a consortium of French firms was building a nuclear reactor for Iraq. The Mossad salted the site of the bomb blast with “clues” followed up with anonymous phone calls to police suggesting the sabotage was the work of an environmentalist group.
• On June 28, 1978, Israeli agents exploded a bomb under a small passenger car in the Rue Saint Anne, killing Mohammed Boudia, an organizer for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Immediately afterward, Paris police received anonymous phone calls accusing Boudia of involvement in narcotics deals and attributing his murder to the Corsican Mafia. A thorough investigation subsequently established that Mossad special-action agents were responsible for the terrorist killing.
• In October, 1976, the same Mossad unit kidnapped two West German students—Brigette Schulz and Thomas Reuter—in Paris. Planted “clues” and anonymous phone calls made it appear that a Bavarian “neo-Nazi” group had executed the abduction. In fact, French intelligence established that the two victims had been flown to Israel, drugged, tortured, coerced into a false “confession of complicity” in PLO activities, and then anonymously incarcerated in an Israeli prison.
• In February 1977, a German-born, naturalized U.S. citizen named William Jahnke arrived in Paris for some secretive business meetings. He soon vanished. Paris police were anonymously informed Jahnke had been involved in a South Korean bribery affair and “eliminated” when the deal went sour. A special team from SDECE, the leading French intelligence agency, determined Jahnke had been “terminated” by the Mossad, which suspected him of selling secret information to the Libyans. The SDECE learned Jahnke had been “fingered” to the Mossad by his own former employer, the CIA.
• One of Israel’s most outrageous “false flag” operations involved a wild propaganda story aimed at discrediting Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi—one of Israel’s favorite enemies. In the early months of the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the American media began heavily promoting a story that a “Libyan hit squad” was in the United States for the express purpose of assassinating Reagan. This inflamed public sentiment against Libya and there were repeated calls for blood.
Suddenly, however, the “hit squad” stories vanished. In fact, it was ultimately discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent with close ties to the Mossad. Even The Washington Post acknowledged that the CIA itself believed that Ghorbanifar was a liar who “had made up the hit-squad story in order to cause problems for one of Israel’s enemies.”
The Los Angeles Times itself had already blown the whistle on Israel’s scare stories. “Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan administration,” reported the Times, “was a major source of some of the most dramatic published reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent to kill President Reagan and other top U.S. officials . . . Israel, which informed sources said has ‘wanted an excuse to go in and bash Libya for a long time,’ may be trying to build American public support for a strike against [Qaddafi], these sources said.”
In other words, Israel had promoted the former SAVAK agent to Washington as a reliable source. In fact, he was a Mossad disinformation operative waving a “false flag” to mislead America. This was yet another Israeli scheme to blame Libya for its own misdeeds, this time using one “false flag” (Iran’s SAVAK) to lay the blame on another “false flag” (Libya).
• Israel’s Mossad was almost certainly responsible for the bombing of the La Belle disco in West Berlin on April 5, 1986 in which an American serviceman died. Claims were made that there was “irrefutable” evidence the Libyans were responsible and President Reagan responded with an attack on Libya.
However, intelligence insiders believed the Mossad concocted the “evidence” to “prove” Libyan responsibility. In the end, West Berlin police director Manfred Ganschow cleared the Libyans, saying, “This is a highly political case. Some of the evidence cited in Washington may not be evidence at all, merely assumptions supplied for political reasons.”
• On April 18, 1986, one Nezar Hindawi, a 32-year-old Jordanian was arrested in London after security guards found that one of the passengers boarding an Israeli plane bound for Jerusalem, Ann Murphy, 22, was carrying a square, flat sheet of plastic explosive in the double bottom of her carry-on bag. Miss Murphy told security men that the detonator (disguised as a calculator) had been given to her by her finance, Hindawi. He was charged with attempted sabotage and attempted murder.
Word was leaked that Hindawi had confessed and claimed that he had been hired by General Mohammed Al-Khouli, the intelligence director of the Syrian air force. Also implicated were others including the Syrian Ambassador in London. The French authorities warned the British Prime Minister there was more to the case—that is, Israeli involvement. This was later confirmed in reports by the Western press.
• In 1970, King Hussein of Jordan was provided with incriminating intelligence that suggested the PLO was plotting to murder him and seize power in his nation. Infuriated, Hussein mobilized his forces for what has become known as the ‘Black September’ purge of the PLO. Thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan were rounded up, some of the leaders were tortured, and in the end, masses of refugees were driven from Jordan to Lebanon.
New data, coming to light after the murder of two leading Mossad operatives in Cyprus suggested that the entire operation had been a Mossad covert action, led by one of its key operatives, Sylvia Roxburgh. She contrived an affair with King Hussein and served as the linchpin for a major Mossad coup designed to destabilize the Arabs.
• In 1982, just when the PLO had abandoned the use of terrorism, the Mossad spread disinformation about “terror attacks” on Israeli settlements along its northern border to justify a full-scale military invasion of Lebanon. Years later, even former Foreign Minister Abba Eban, admitted the reports of “PLO terrorism” had been contrived by the Mossad.
• It is also worth noting that the attempted assassination—in London—of Israel’s Ambassador to England, Shlomo Argov, was initially blamed upon the PLO and was cited by Israel as one excuse for its bloody 1982 incursion into Lebanon. In fact, the diplomat was one of Israel’s “doves” and inclined toward a friendly disposition of Israel’s conflict with the PLO and the least likely target of PLO wrath. What’s more, one of the suspects in the crime was found carrying a “hit list” which actually included the name of the head of the PLO office in London.
Thus, it appears that the assassination attempt was carried out by the Mossad—under another “false flag”—for two purposes: (a) elimination of a “peacenik” considered friendly toward the Palestinians; and (b) pinning yet another crime on the PLO.
These instances cited here are but a handful of Mossad-orchestrated “false flag” operations blamed on a wide variety of alleged “suspects.
Israel's Use of False Flags in Global Terrorism