New Zealand Police have classified the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization: NPR
The New Zealand government has declared the American far-right group Proud Boys a terrorist organization.
The Proud Boys’ role in the Capitol Riots on January 6, as well as their chauvinistic beliefs, hyper-nationalism and violent messages contributed to the decision, New Zealand police said in a document released this week.
The New Zealand government defines terrorist acts as those “committed for the purpose of advancing an ideological, political or religious cause”, intended to “intimidate a population” or “cause death or serious bodily harm to one or more persons “, among others.
New Zealand Police also classify the Proud Boys as practicing crypto-fascism, in which they attempt to hide their true beliefs from “normal people” and authorities in order to appeal to a wider group of American men.
One example they gave was the organization appointing Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who identifies as Afro-Cuban, as president of the group.
“Having a non-white president is commonly used by the APB [American Proud Boys] as a foil against accusations of white supremacy,” police said.
The Proud Boys were also heavily involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol Riots, where they incited crowds, staged attacks on law enforcement and encouraged rioters to enter the building, according to the document.
Tarrio and four other members of the Proud Boys were charged by the federal government earlier this month with conspiring to overthrow the government by attacking the Capitol.
New Zealand authorities have become more sensitive to far-right threats after a white supremacist gunned down 51 Muslim worshipers at two Christchurch mosques in 2019.
The New Zealand massacre inspired other white supremacists around the world, including a white gunman who killed 10 black people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
New Zealand is not the first nation to brand the Proud Boys a terrorist organization. Last year, officials in Canada designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist group.