New Zealand declares the Proud Boys a terrorist organization

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Rioters stand outside the US Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021.

Rioters stand outside the US Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021.
Photo: Jose Luis Magana (PA)

The New Zealand government has officially listed the American far-right extremist group as proud boys as a terrorist organization.

In a document of 29 pages published On Thursday, New Zealand authorities said the group’s role in the attack on the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021 is a textbook definition of terrorism.

The government of the country considered a terrorist act as something “carried out for the purpose of advancing an ideological, political or religious cause”, intended to “intimidate a population”.

The document stated:

“Actions and declarations of [American Proud Boys] members before and during the attack demonstrate an intent to cause death or serious bodily harm to people…Despite the rhetorical and optical smokescreens put up by APB leaders, many APB members lack McInnes’ rhetorical skill and are therefore more forthcoming about their embrace of white nationalism, extreme racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.

The Proud Boys are not known to be active in New Zealand, but the country became more susceptible to terrorist threats after a white supremacist killed 51 Muslim worshipers at two Christchurch mosques in 2019.

The massacre inspired other white supremacists, including the white shooter who kill 10 Blacks in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York in May. Former Proud Boys frontman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and four other band members were accused with a seditious plot for a coordinated attack on the Capitol.

They are due to stand trial in August in Washington, D.C. At a conference on Thursday, New Zealand Police Minister Chris Hipkins said the Proud Boys were known for “violent protests aimed at overthrowing the government – there are clearly evidence of this”.

The US State Department only considers foreign groups as terrorist threats. However, the Proud Boys were designated a terrorist group in Canada last year.

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