Canadian authorities are gathering details about the far-right Proud Boys group as a part of a doable terrorist designation, the federal Liberal authorities mentioned Sunday because it confronted calls to ban the group over its position in final week’s U.S. Capitol assault.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s workplace stopped wanting saying when — or even when — the Proud Boys would truly be added to Canada’s nationwide listing of terrorist organizations, which incorporates such teams as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and ISIS.
Blair spokesperson Mary-Liz Power as an alternative particularly named it as one of many “ideologically motivated” extremist teams which might be being intently watched as Ottawa appears to be like to counter the menace posed by white supremacists and different far-right organizations.
“Our national security and law enforcement agencies are very actively engaged in monitoring the activities of these groups and gathering the evidence required to support a determination of listing as a terrorist organization,” Power mentioned in an electronic mail.
Founded by Canadian Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys are a far-right group that’s unapologetically misogynist and more and more linked to white supremacy and hate. It was later banned by Facebook and Instagram in October 2018 for violating their hate insurance policies.
The group first made headlines in Canada when a number of self-identified members within the Royal Canadian Navy disrupted an Indigenous protest in Halifax in 2017, and it has since grown its worldwide profile and membership.
U.S. President Donald Trump famously declined to sentence the Proud Boys throughout a U.S. presidential debate with Joe Biden in September, as an alternative telling the group to “stand back and stand by.” He later joined Biden in denouncing the group.
WATCH | Trump appears to encourage Proud Boys when requested to sentence white supremacy:
Several members have been nonetheless amongst those that stormed Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., following a speech by Trump on Jan. 6, in response to quite a few media studies. In response, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has led requires the federal authorities to ban the group in Canada.
Power didn’t say when authorities first began monitoring the Proud Boys as a possible terrorist menace.
“Terrorist designations are not political exercises,” she mentioned. “They involve a legal process requiring evidence and intelligence.”
‘I believe it is about time,’ terrorism professional says
Created within the aftermath of the terrorist assaults on the U.S. in September 2001, the fear listing consists of greater than 50 organizations. Groups on the listing could have their belongings seized, and there are severe legal penalties for serving to them perform extremist actions.
Many of the listed organizations are Islamic terrorist teams corresponding to al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and ISIS, however two far-right teams — Blood & Honour, a global neo-Nazi community, and its armed wing, Combat 18 — have been added in June 2019.
Amarnath Amarasingam, a terrorism professional at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., described the U.S. Capitol siege as the kind of “watershed event” that usually sparks debate round whether or not to categorise a selected group as a terrorist group.
While the federal government and law-enforcement businesses might want to rationalize including the group to the listing, Amarasingam prompt that would not be laborious, at the same time as he dismissed recommendations such a choice shouldn’t be political.
“We basically would not be talking about the Proud Boys if there wasn’t a sea change happening right now with how governments, social media companies and communities are dealing with far-right groups. It’s not only political, but it’s very much political,” he mentioned.
“Governments want to send a message that this sort of thing is not going to be tolerated, and that applies to far-right groups as well. I think it’s about time.”