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Operation Northwoods


Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the U.S. Department of Defense to stage acts of simulated or real terrorism on US soil and against U.S. interests and then put the blame of these acts on Cuba in order to generate U.S. public support for military action against the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. As part of the U.S. government's Operation Mongoose anti-Castro initiative, the plan, which was not implemented, called for various false flag actions, including simulated or real state-sponsored acts of terrorism on U.S. and Cuban soil. The plan was proposed by senior U.S. Department of Defense leaders, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Louis Lemnitzer.


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Operation northwoods - JPG Version- Page 12


Operation Northwoods File

Operation northwoods - Text Version - Page 12


TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN


UNCLASSIFIED


The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement, also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.

5. A "Cuban-based, Castro-supported" filibuster could be simulated against a neighboring Caribbean nation (in the vein of the 14th of June invasion of the Dominican Republic). We know that Castro is backing subversive efforts clandestinely against Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua at present and possible others. These efforts can be magnified and additional ones contrived for exposure. For example, advantage can be taken of the sensitivity of the Dominican Air Force to intrusions within their national air space. "Cuban" B-26 or C-46 type aircraft could make cane-burning raids at night. Soviet Bloc incendiaries could be found. This could be coupled with "Cuban" messages to the Communist underground in the Dominican Republic and "Cuban" shipments of arm which would be found, or intercepted, on the beach.

6. Use of MIG type aircraft by US pilots could provide additional provocation. Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping and destruction of US military drone aircraft by MIG type planes would be useful as complementary actions. An F-86 properly painted would convince air passengers that they saw a Cuban MIG, especially if the pilot of the transport were to announce such fact. The primary drawback to this suggestion appears to be the security risk inherent in obtaining or modifying an aircraft. However, reasonable copies of the MIG could be produced from US resources in about three months.



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Appendix to Enclosure A


UNCLASSIFIED

TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN



Operation Northwoods - Page 12