The Proud Boys were officially labeled as a terrorist organization in Canada on Wednesday after senior officials said the group poses a serious threat to the country, The Washington Post reported.
The declaration follows the Proud Boy’s alleged participation in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, where supporters of former President Donald Trump forced their way into the building, the Post reported.
The classification allows law enforcement to seize the property of anyone affiliated with the group and banks can retain their assets, The Post reported. Members of the Proud Boys can be denied entry to Canada and it is now a crime to knowingly provide any form of assistance to the group.
BREAKING: #Canada becomes first country to declare US’ Proud Boys a Terrorist organization.
Less than a month on Capitol attacks, group now sits with Al Qaeda & ISIS on Canada’s terror list https://t.co/QpyUglgE64
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) February 3, 2021
Senior officials said they have been monitoring the Proud Boys for “a while” and that the Capitol riot was not the deciding factor to designate the group as a terror organization, the Post reported. However, intelligence gathered following the Capitol riot was included in intelligence reports weighed while making the decision.
“IMVE [Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism] is often driven by a range of grievances and ideas from across the traditional ideological spectrum,” according to the Canadian government. “The resulting worldview consists of a personalized narrative which centers on an extremist’s willingness to incite, enable and or mobilize to violence.”
The Proud Boys were founded by Canadian Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016, according to the Post. The organization of “western chauvinists” is now led by Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested two days before the Capitol riot, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
National security analysts said right-wing extremist groups in Canada pose a growing threat because they are more united and internationally connected than they have been previously, the Post reported. (RELATED: Canada Considering Labeling White Supremacist Groups Including The Proud Boys As Terror Organizations)
“We are more and more preoccupied by the number of ultra right-wing extremists … white nationalism, ethno nationalism, white supremacists,” Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Services David Vigneault said, the Post reported.
Longtime activist and leader of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Bernie Farber, pointed out the differences between American and Canadian Proud Boys, the Toronto Star reported. He said that Canadian Proud Boys are “much more disorganized” more like “thugs and bigots” than an organized group.
“But given what happened on Jan. 6, Proud Boys might get added to that (terrorism) list only because of their actions during the insurrection,” Farber said, the Star reported. “I think that remains a possibility.”
Reported neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honor and Combat 18 were the first ideologically motivated groups added to Canada’s list of terror organizations, the Post reported. The Atomwaffen Division, The Base and the Russian Imperial Movement were all included on the list.
A motion for the federal government to “immediately” declare the Proud Boys a terror organization was unanimously passed in Canadian Parliament last week, the Post reported.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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