New Zealand designates Proud Boys as terrorist group

New Zealand has quietly designated Proud Boys as a terror entity, criminalizing any dealing with the US-based right-wing extremist group.

The group, along with white supremacist paramilitary organization The Base, was designated on June 20 but the move was published in the New Zealand Gazette on Monday.

At least five members of the terror group formed in 2016 have been charged for the US Capitol riots of Jan. 6, 2021.

In a 29-page explanation of the Proud Boys designation, authorities said the group's involvement in the attack on the US Capitol building amounted to terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

It said the group’s extreme right-wing ideology is founded on racist and fascist principles, and the attack meant “obstructing and preventing the proper functioning of democratic government.”

The two groups join 20 other entities that have been given an official terrorist designation, making it illegal in New Zealand to fund, recruit or participate in the groups, and obligating authorities to take action against them.

The designations will expire on June 20, 2025 unless earlier revoked or extended, according to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.

“Those groups are respectively neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, white supremacist groups who have been responsible for some key unlawful events overseas, and so police supported the designation,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Radio New Zealand./aa