By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren
OTTAWA, February 3 (Reuters) – Canada labeled the far-right Proud Boys a terrorist entity on Wednesday on the grounds that it openly supports violence and played a “central role” in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on the 6th January that left five people dead.
Calling it “a neo-fascist organization”, the Canadian Department of Public Safety said the Proud Boys “openly encouraged, planned and carried out violent activity against those they perceived to be opposed to their ideology and beliefs. policies “.
The founder of the group, Gavin McInnes, is Canadian but now lives in the United States.
To be listed as a terrorist entity in Canada, one must “have reasonable grounds to believe” that the group knowingly participated in or facilitated terrorist activity, or knowingly acted in association with such a group.
Being on the list means the group’s assets can be frozen by banks and financial institutions, and it becomes a crime for Canadians to knowingly deal with the listed entity’s assets, a senior official said.
Anyone belonging to the group could also be barred from entering the country.
Founded in 2016, the Proud Boys began as an organization protesting against political correctness and perceived constraints on masculinity in the United States and Canada, and grew into a distinctively colored group of yellow and black that embraced the struggles of street.
The group’s profile was raised in September when former US President Donald Trump, asked in an election debate whether he would denounce white supremacists and militias, called on the Proud Boys to “step back and stand ready”.
Twelve more groups were added to the list of terrorist entities in Canada. Three were neo-Nazi groups, eight were organizations described as affiliated with Al Qaeda and Daesh (Islamic State) and one was Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri group.