Canada has formally labeled the far-right extremist group Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, adding it to a list that includes militant Islamist groups Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
The Canadian government announced on Feb. 3 that it has added the Proud Boys as one of the 13 new groups to a list of terrorist entities, including three other “ideologically motivated violent extremist groups” — Atomwaffen Division, the Russian Imperial Movement, and the Base.
“Violent extremism has no place in Canada,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.
“Canadians can be confident in the work our agencies do every day to keep our communities safe from all forms of violent extremism,” Blair added.
Although the designation does not necessarily make group membership a crime, members could face terrorism charges if they engage in violent acts.
The designation also allows the Canadian government to seize the group’s assets and to increase terrorism-related penalties on the group. It also makes sending money to the group or buying their paraphernalia a crime.
The Canadian parliament unanimously passed the motion urging the federal government to list the Proud Boys as a terrorist group a week after it participated in storming the United States Capitol last Jan. 6.
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh, who first introduced the motion, called the official formal designation a “victory” for young people, working people, and black, brown, and indigenous people.
Canada becomes the first country to label the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization.
Other groups added to the list include affiliates of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, bringing the total number of listed terrorist entities to 73.
“The Government of Canada will continue to take appropriate actions to counter terrorist threats to Canada, its citizens and its interests around the world,” Blair said.
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