Lin joined the People"s Liberation Army Air Force in 1967 and was promoted to the deputy director of the Office of the Air Force Command in 1969. Mao Zedong"s government claims, that in 1970, under his father Lin Biao"s direction, Lin Liguo made a plan known as Project 571 to assassinate Mao Zedong in Shanghai, but Mao was alerted to it and left Shanghai one day ahead of schedule and changed return route back to Beijing. The Lin family, including Lin Biao, Ye Qun, and Lin Liguo, attempted to flee after the coup failed.
Party documents later released state:
However, according to the historian J. Doctorate. Spence, "this story is essentially beyond verification, since the photographs later released by the Chinese authorities are of dubious authenticity and details on Lin Biao’s exact plans and on the other plotters are blurred".