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Canada considers deeming Proud Boys terrorist organization after deadly U.S. Capitol riots

Last Updated Jan 11, 2021 at 10:27 am PST

FILE -- Supporters of President Donald Trump who are wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Summary

Ottawa is looking at labelling right-wing group the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization after the U.S. Capitol riots

Public safety minister's office says the label would help law enforcement

Security expert Phil Gurski argues the terror list is a political tool

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The Proud Boys and other far-right extremist groups in Canada could be declared terrorist organizations by Ottawa following the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol building last week.

The federal government is starting to gather the evidence it needs to label the Proud Boys, which was founded in Canada, as a terrorist organization after members took part in the riots Wednesday.

In a statement, the public safety minister’s office explains national security agencies are monitoring these groups and declaring them terrorist organizations would help law enforcement freeze assets, prevent fundraising and open up more investigative tools.

The Proud Boys are a far-right group active in the U.S. and Canada.

RELATED: Canada routinely monitors threats, says parliament security after U.S. Capitol Hill violence

However, security expert Phil Gurski, with Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting, argues the label won’t stop right-wing extremists, noting terrorists don’t care about laws and don’t require a lot of money.

“The vast majority of tasks can be carried out by any idiot with what he has in his or her wallet,” he says. “You don’t need multiple millions of dollars to carry out a terrorist attack.”

When Gurski was a government intelligence analyst, he says he helped develop the terror list, which he claims is essentially a political tool.

“When’s the last time a terrorist cared about what the law said? So if the Proud Boys see that they’re listed, do you think they care? Of course, they don’t care, in fact, it might be a badge of honour for them that they’re getting more attention than they perhaps deserve,” he says.

“I don’t see any additional powers and/or emphasis that’s going to be placed on the Proud Boys just because the government decides to put them on a list.”

RELATED: Advocates say white privilege was on full display during Capitol Hill violence

The government hasn’t said when it would make its decision on labelling the Proud Boys a terrorist organization.

The NDP has been pushing for the designation for the Proud Boys since members were a part of the crowd at the Capitol building when it was violently invaded.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is being pressured to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove outgoing President Donald Trump from power, or the Democrats will move forward with impeaching him. Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the violent riot last week.