Canada describes the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization with ISIS and Al-Qaeda
Canada on Wednesday identified the far-right group Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, less than a month after some of its members participated in the deadly riot in the US Capitol. Canada’s public security department said it had “reasonable grounds” to believe that the Proud Boys are a group that “knowingly participated in or facilitated terrorist activities”.
“The group and its members have openly encouraged, planned and carried out violent activities against those who they believe are contrary to their ideology and political beliefs,” the public safety department said.
The label puts the Proud Boys on the same list as militant groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. In addition to the Proud Boys, the Canadian government even put several member organizations of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda on its terrorist list on Wednesday.
According to the new classification, it is illegal in Canada to support the Proud Boys logistically or financially. Canadian financial institutions are required to freeze group-linked assets and anyone associated with the Proud Boys can be refused entry into Canada. The listing also enables the government to seize Proud Boys property and supports the removal of Proud Boys content online.
The announcement came on the same day that a Proud Boys member who called himself “Sergeant of Arms” of the Seattle chapter was in the group arrested and charged with alleged involvement in the January 6th Capitol uprising that killed five people. from New York and a self-described group organizer are also charged with their alleged role in the attack.
CBS News’s Ed O’Keefe asked in a White House briefing Wednesday whether the US would follow Canada to label the Proud Boys a terrorist group. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said no decision will be made until an ongoing national security review of domestic extremism is completed.
“When it is finalized, we will certainly have more to say about our view,” said Psaki.
The FBI classified the Proud Boys in 2018 as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”. However, US federal law does not contain a law criminalizing domestic groups as terrorists.
The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, a Canadian writer and commentator who co-founded Vice. The group describes itself as “Western chauvinists” and has supported misogynist, anti-Islamic and white nationalist views.
The 2020 campaign put the Proud Boys in the spotlight when former President Donald Trump refused to expressly condemn them in a presidential campaign, telling them to “step down and stand by” – a comment members saw
The Biden government began cracking down on domestic terrorists and white nationalists after the Capitol Revolt. The Department of Homeland Security issued its last weekvia domestic groups, warning of an “elevated threat environment” in the coming weeks.
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