What are 'false flag' events? Pro-Trump groups say inauguration day protests may be traps set by radical left

Many on the right have claimed that the Capitol riots were actually a 'false flag' operation perpetrated by far-left agent provocateurs disguised as Trump supporters

                            What are 'false flag' events? Pro-Trump groups say inauguration day protests may be traps set by radical left
A group of Antifa members (Getty Images)

While most media reports spoke of a pro-Trump mob that overrun authorities and broke into the halls of Congress Wednesday afternoon, many on the right have claimed that the Capitol siege was actually a "false flag" operation perpetrated by far-left agent provocateurs disguised as Trump supporters. While the claims first originated on fringe corners of the web such as 4chan, several mainstream conservative news sites followed it up with their own coverage shortly after rioters started breaching barriers outside the Capitol. 

It should be mentioned that the FBI has debunked the baseless conspiracy theory that anti-fascist leftists — not a pro-Trump mob — were responsible for death and destruction at the Capitol. FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono said last Friday there is no evidence that Antifa activists were involved in the Capitol riots.

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

The Epoch Times reported how videos showed that some of the protesters were acting as "provocateurs and agitators, whipping up ire and urging people to push through the police." Michael Yon, a war correspondent who was on site, told the outlet that the actions of some individuals were “a mixture of agents provocateur and direct action attacks under cover of protest.”

Yon said he identified at least three small groups of individuals that had engaged in behavior that "aligned with that of Antifa cells."

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) also noted an advance warning he received that Antifa could be planning to infiltrate the protest on January 6. “Congressman told me he was warned on TUESDAY by Capitol Police officer that intelligence suggested fascist ANTIFA was going to try to infiltrate the Trump rally by dressing like Trump supporters,” he tweeted on January 7.


When Congress reconvened later that day, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida told his colleagues in a speech: “They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group Antifa.”

A number of right-wing outlets are now warning their readers not to participate in "armed protests" at state capitols across the country in the days leading up to the inauguration. According to the Gateway Pundit, this is another false flag operation being organized by far-left and anarchist outfits.

"WARNING! There are several armed protests at state capitols across the country before inaugural ceremonies next week. WE ARE URGING YOU NOT TO ATTEND!" Jim Hoft wrote for TGP. "Think about this– The far-left tech giants took away President Trump’s ability to communicate freely to the American public following the storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters, Antifa, and other individuals."

"For the record, these “armed protests” in the coming days ARE NOT sanctioned by the Trump Campaign," he added.

The Gateway Pundit also shared a suspicious protest flyer and noted how no organizing group was listed on it.

A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

What is a false flag?

A false flag operation, as defined by Wikipedia, is an act committed with the "intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on a second party." Having originated in the 16th century, the term "false flag" was a purely figurative expression to mean "a deliberate misrepresentation of someone’s affiliation or motives."

However, today, it extends to include state governments that organize attacks on themselves and make the attacks appear to be by enemy nations or terrorists, thereby giving the nation a justifiable pretext for domestic repression and foreign military aggression, per Wikipedia. False flag operations also include those carried out by civilian organizations if they seek to hide the real organization behind an operation.

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