Canada's Parliament Unanimously Votes to Designate the Proud Boys a Terror Group

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Supporters of President Donald Trump who are wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, Washington, December 12, 2020.
Supporters of President Donald Trump who are wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, Washington, December 12, 2020.Credit: Luis M. Alvarez/AP

Canada's parliament unanimously passed a motion Monday calling for the designation of the right-wing, neo-fascist group the Proud Boys as a banned terrorist group. 

The motion calls on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “use all available tools to address the proliferation of white supremacists and hate groups starting with the immediately designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.”

Canada has banned dozens of designated terrorist groups including Al-Qaida, Hezbollah, the Taliban and ISIS.

The Proud Boys, which was started by Canadian writer and far-right activist Gavin McGinnes (who has since distanced himself from the group), were among the supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump who have been charged in the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

A number of people with ties to the Proud Boys have been charged and more than 100 people overall have been arrested so far, a figure prosecutors expect will grow as the FBI continues to analyze more than 200,000 photos and videos of the Capitol riot.

The criminal complaints have revealed that some of the rioters have ties to right-wing fringe groups, are known white supremacists or adhere to the QAnon conspiracy theory, in which believers claim that former president Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats and "deep state" government officials.

On Tuesday, prosecutors charged three members of the Oath Keepers militia with conspiring to breach the Capitol, and released text messages with references to trapping members of Congress in the tunnels beneath the Capitol and gassing them.

No conspiracy charges have been filed involving the Proud Boys, though the FBI in its criminal complaint against Biggs said "multiple individuals" associated with the group have been photographed "with earpieces."

Investigators said Biggs actively encouraged members to travel to Washington and communicated directly with the group's leader Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested before the Jan. 6 riots on charges of destruction of property and possession of a firearm magazine.

The FBI said Biggs and fellow Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola can be seen in video footage entering the Capitol, with Pezzola breaking a window. Later, Biggs tells the camera "this is awesome," according to the complaint.

Pezzola, who was arrested on Jan. 15, also faces charges.

Prosecutors are also focused on tracking down people who assaulted police or members of the press.

Patrick Edward McCaughey III, who was pictured in a now-viral video in which Washington police officer Daniel Hodges was pinned with a riot shield, appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday on charges of assaulting police, among others.

McCaughey can be seen crushing Hodges in the video and can be heard telling officers to not resist the rioters, according to the criminal complaint. "You see me. Just go home. Talk to your buddies and go home," he allegedly said.

Benjamin Gianforti, the prosecutor in the case on Wednesday, characterized the video as "chilling."

McCaughey's attorney said his client is not as "maniacal" as the government alleges and asked that he be allowed to return home to live with family. A federal judge ordered McCaughey to be detained, describing his conduct as "highly disturbing."

Also appearing in court on Wednesday was Samuel Fisher, whom the FBI said breached the Capitol and also posted photos of himself with guns.

On Facebook the next day, he purportedly told someone that he was there, and that even though people died and he got tear-gassed, it was "great."

"Seeing cops literally run ... was the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life," he is quoted as saying.

A federal judge ordered Fisher detained, citing the amount of weapons and ammunition found in his possession upon being arrested.

"That to me is a serious danger," the judge said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: