fifth column

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fifth column

1. (originally) a group of Falangist sympathizers in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War who were prepared to join the four columns of insurgents marching on the city
2. any group of hostile or subversive infiltrators

Fifth Column


a term used to designate a group of General Franco’s agents who operated in the Spanish Republic during the National Revolutionary War of 1936–39.

The term “fifth column” originated in early October 1936, when the Francoist general E. Mola declared on the radio that the rebels were conducting an offensive on Madrid using four columns, while the fifth would strike from the rear at the decisive moment. The fifth column spread panic and engaged in sabotage, espionage, and diversionary activity. During World War II the term was used to designate groups of Nazi agents in various countries who aided the fascist troops in the capture of these countries.

References in periodicals archive ?
The book includes a helpful series of cartoons, photographs, and posters on the fifth column scare.
Fifth Column Capital, LLC firmly believes that because its efforts, and the ongoing tireless efforts and support of the CLAMS-GCS community, CLAMS-GCS will very soon be the most widely distributed and used Virtual Currency in the world.
Instead of backing proxy statelets, the strategy is to embed the conflict and his fifth column within the Ukrainian state, allowing him to pursue his aims while seeking to lift the costly Western sanctions.
But he met his match in the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, who earned the moniker "the Grim" for his cruelty against Turkish Alevis, whom he considered a fifth column for the Shi'a--that is to say, for Iran.
After all, any "opposition" that would take money and support from a foreign government, thus turning itself into a de facto fifth column, deserves to be loathed.
In his address to the forces of the Popular Defense (mujahideen) in the capital of North Kordofan state the Wali (governor) said that his state was monitoring and follow up movement of the so-called Revolutionary Front and the People's Army Forces in Abu Karshula area and Al dyair Mountain, adding that the Armed Corces and the other security forces are stationed in all areas of Al Rahad Abu Dukna locality, and that the fifth column has infiltrated to um ruaba which it has been living in peace.
So, for your first column, you mark groups 1, 2, 6 and 7, for your second column use groups 1, 3, 6 and 9 and so on until, finally, you complete your fifth column with groups 3, 4, 5 and 8.
The security source told (Saba) that such news, that have been aired by some websites during Eid ,fall under rumors by so-called the fifth column that seeks to broadcast such fictitious rumors to thwart the tourist movement in Aden that has earned great success.
The propaganda against Parliament is being made by those having fifth column mindset and people will foil their nefarious designs as they are very much aware about them.
She accused them of having close connections with anti-Israel neighboring Arab countries, 'Many of these Arabs can be accused of treachery and of being a Fifth column that is expanding within the Jewish state,' she said.
The review is of James Petras' book, War Crimes in Gaza and the Zionist Fifth Column in America.