fifth columnist


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fifth columnist

A member of a clandestine group of people who work subversively within a group, organization, or country in order to betray it to an allied outside force. In the US during the Cold War, there was constant fear and suspicion of people supposedly working as fifth columnists to spread the influence of communism from within.
See also: fifth
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus Rawlings remarks, "I don't believe anything I hear and very little of what I see" (TFC 18), but he says this while interrogating a comrade who has fallen asleep at his post and allowed a fifth columnist to escape.
Presupposing some computer hacker is not responsible for the drip, drip of inside information seeping from Number 10 then it must be the work of a fifth columnist at the heart of the Government machine.
As a recipe for civil war, Labour fifth columnists couldn't do a better job themselves.
It was in the build-up to the campaign for Truman's re-election in 1952 that McCarthy launched his crusade, with the claim that the federal government was riddled with fifth columnists.
Not that anyone will seriously expect too many fifth columnists to turn up at Hampden, and there is no doubting which side 77-cap patriot Alex McLeish will be cheering on - even if Advocaat makes good his promise to recall Fernando Ricksen.
While the Allies' backs are turned waging a War on Terror in the Middle East, the Real IRA attempted a cowardly attack from behind like a bunch of Fifth Columnists.
Reminiscent of World War I Canada, many Winnipeggers expressed concern over fifth columnists, assuming their presence among those of Central and Eastern European decent.
They are, in my opinion, at best economic migrants, and at worst potential fifth columnists, who may well support the actions of home grown Islamic State terrorists.
Obviously, the venal fifth columnists in Washington weren't best pleased.
However, the death of Governor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the QuaideAzam in September 1948, provided an opportunity to fifth columnists and enemy agents to sow seeds provincialism and secularism to disintegrate Pakistan, in order to neutralize the mission of real Pakistan.
It's as if Cameron's mob is full of fifth columnists highlighting the gap between Cameron and George Osborne's booming rhetoric and the grim reality after living standards tumbled.
It must be made clear that these fifth columnists cannot change foreign policy or the resolve to beat the jihadists.
There will be a heavy price to be paid by all of Welsh rugby, including the Welsh international team, in the regional businesses migrating from just incompetent to downright fifth columnists.
According to this thesis, Shiites simply reverted to their "historic" role as wreckers and fifth columnists.
Thriller, starring Joel McCrea and Laraine Day, about an American crime reporter who gets caught up with the Nazis and fifth columnists in pre-war Europe.