A false flag operation This is an act done with the intention of hiding the source of responsibility and placing blame on another party.
In the 16th century, the term “false Flag” was a figurative expression that meant “a deliberate misrepresentation or motives of someone”. Later it was used to describe a naval warfare ruse where a vessel flew the flag a neutral or hostile country to conceal its true identity. The tactic was originally used by pirates and privateers to deceive other ships into allowing them to move closer before attacking them. This tactic was later accepted by international maritime law as a valid practice in naval warfare, provided that the attacking vessel displays its true flag after an attack has begun.
Today, the term includes countries that carry out attacks against themselves or make it appear that they are being carried out by terrorists or enemy nations. This gives the country that was attacked an excuse for foreign military aggression and domestic repression.
Similarly deceptive activities carried out during peacetime by individuals or non governmental organizations can (by extension) also be called false flag operations, but the more common legal term is a “frameup”, “stitch up”, or “setup”.