False flag

   Intelligence services often recruited agents under the “false flag” of other countries or political movements. The Soviet services used this gambit in two creative ways. A Soviet case officer recruited the British communications clerk John King, for example, under the false flag of international business. King, the Soviet intelligence officer insisted, was not hurting his country by providing information to an international cartel. In the 1930s and 1940s, NKVD officers often pretended to be “Comintern representatives.” Information that was going to Moscow to help the international communist movement could not be considered espionage. Rather, it was solidarity with the working class and the struggling Soviet people.
   See also Motivation.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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