Canada adds 13 groups, including Proud Boys, to terror list

Canada adds 13 groups, including Proud Boys, to terror list

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the decision was influenced by the group's "pivotal role" in the 6 January riots at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Blair on Wednesday repeatedly denied any political influence in the decision to list the Proud Boys and three other right-wing extremist organizations, which officials have lumped under the catch-all term "ideologically motivated violent extremist groups".

"Violent acts of terrorism have no place in Canadian society or overseas", wrote Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The Canadian government is classifying the Proud Boys as neo-fascist organization, saying it has semiautonomous chapters in the United States, Canada, and overseas, all of which engage in political violence, and whose members espouse "misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacist ideologies". As the Guardian reported, McInnes's public split with the Proud Boys came directly after the Federal Bureau of Investigation categorized them as "an extremist group with ties to white nationalism" - though he was still part of the group when it took part in the idiocy and violence in Charlottesville in 2017.

Canada's list of terrorist organizations could grow on Wednesday, with the Trudeau government preparing to make an announcement.

Congratulations: If you are a Proud Boy, you're now persona non grata in Canada.

Canada is the first country to give the Proud Boys a terrorist designation.

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For those who may have thought that the Proud Boys, who deem themselves "Western chauvinists", were primarily based in the United States, the group was actually founded by Canadian writer and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, although he attests that he is no longer associated with it. The agency cited "reasonable grounds to believe that an entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity", or has acted on behalf of or in association with such a terrorist entity.

"What I can tell you is over the past several months, basically since 2018, we have seen an escalation and there is an escalation towards violence for this group", said Blair referring to the Proud Boys adding that, "In the aftermath of the US Presidential election we've seen an escalation in supports that signal an escalation towards violence in a number of different groups including the Proud Boys".

"Leaders of the group planned their participation by setting out objectives, issuing instructions, and directing members during the insurrection", the site reads, noting that Proud Boys' chairman, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested two days before the siege in law enforcement's efforts to apprehend those who'd planned to incite violence. Moving past the officers, prosecutors said, he and other members of the Proud Boys forced their way into the building.

The Proud Boys' platform includes ideas espoused by former US President Donald Trump, libertarianism and traditional gender roles.

US authorities have charged several members of the Proud Boys in connection with the Jan 6. attack in Washington.

Can a group appeal a terrorist designation?

Mr Trump later distanced himself from them.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims as well as the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs were among those welcoming the addition of the four right-wing extremist groups on Wednesday.

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