false flag

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An attack or other hostile action that obscures the identity of the participants carrying out the action while implicating another group or nation as the perpetrator (often used attributively):Evidence suggests that the covert operation was a false flag.The false flag terrorist attack lured the military into a hasty response.a misrepresentation of affiliation or motivation or a false equivalence deliberately put forth to manipulate the context, perception, or frame of an action, object, or argument (often used attributively):Public schools are losing tax dollars to private schools under the false flag of school vouchers expanding parental choice.a flag flown to disguise the nationality or affiliation of a vessel, vehicle, or base of operations:Surviving sailors reported that the privateer was flying a false flag on approach and attacked as soon as cannons were in range.

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