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Canada says the Proud Boys are a “neo-fascist organization.”

Canada says the Proud Boys are a "neo-fascist organization."

February 5, 2021: Canada designates the far-right group Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said it was decided because of the group’s “pivotal role” in the January 6 Capitol riots in Washington, DC.

The designation gives permission to the Proud Boys’ assets to be frozen, and members of the groups could be charged with terrorist offenses if they commit violent acts.

The group is anti-immigrant, consisting of all males, and has a history of violent political confrontations.

The Proud Boys’ platform includes ideas espoused by Donald Trump, libertarianism, and traditional gender roles.

The group was mentioned by Trump during the first US presidential debate last October.

Answering the question about white supremacist and militia groups, he said, “Proud Boys stand back and stand by,” which made members of the group online prepare for action. Trump distanced himself from them later.

The announcement in Canada comes one week after the US Department of Homeland Security warned of a “heightened threat” of domestic terrorism from violent extremists unhappy with the presidential election outcome.

After the announcements, the US Justice Department announced it had arrested and charged a top member of the group’s Seattle chapter.

The decision came after “a trove of new information,” Mr. Blair said. “Over the past several months, mainly since 2018, we have seen an escalation towards violence for this group”.

The escalation has continued from the US presidential election, he added.

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

The other two far-right US groups, Atomwaffen Division and the Base, have also been designated by Canada as terrorist entities and several affiliates of the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.

Terrorist entities in Canada have designated a total of six white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. Before 2018, there were no such groups as a terrorist threat.

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