The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) doesn’t think about far-right group the Proud Boys an extremist group, opposite to what studies stated final month.
As a substitute, the bureau solely think about people throughout the group to be extremists, it stated earlier this week.
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Final month, The Guardian and different retailers reported that the FBI had designated the Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.”
Their supply was an August memo circulated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Workplace in Vancouver, Wash.
That memo involved the dismissal of a former sheriff’s workplace worker who was launched from her place as a probationary deputy after a newspaper obtained a photograph of her carrying “Proud Boy Women Attire.”
The memo went on to say that the Proud Boy Women are “believed to be an affiliate group of girls” who help their ideology.
READ MORE: Far-right Proud Boys and their Canadian founder Gavin McInnes booted off Fb and Instagram
In a Tuesday briefing, Renn Cannon, FBI particular agent accountable for the Portland division, stated that memo developed out of a briefing that it held with Clark County regulation enforcement about threats within the space, The Oregonian reported.
The FBI had been making an attempt to “characterize the potential risk from people in that group,” however it by no means meant to label the group as extremist, he added.
“I can see the place the Clark County representatives got here to that conclusion,” Cannon stated.
“That was not our intention. That’s not what we do.”
The FBI had been briefing the sheriff’s workplace about threats from teams comparable to anarchists, militias and white supremacists, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
That briefing contained a slide in regards to the Proud Boys, which was meant to warn individuals about how members of the group posed a possible for violence.
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“There have been situations the place self-identified Proud Boys have been violent,” Cannon stated.
“We don’t intend and we don’t designate teams, particularly broad nationwide teams, as extremists.”
Whereas the FBI could not think about them extremist, the Southern Poverty Regulation Middle (SPLC) considers the Proud Boys as a hate group whose members are identified to unfold imagery and set up occasions surrounding white nationalism.
READ MORE: Three arrested in violent clashes after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York Metropolis
The group was based in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, the Canadian co-founder of Vice Media who final yr was closely criticized for making a video wherein he listed the “10 issues he hates essentially the most about Jews.”
The Proud Boys describe themselves as a fraternal group of “western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the trendy world.”
“Like Archie Bunker, we lengthy for the times when ‘ladies have been ladies and males have been males,’” their web site stated.
Members have since been concerned in violent incidents comparable to a battle with anti-fascist protesters that adopted a McInnes speech in New York in October.
One in all its members, Jason Kessler, helped set up a “Unite the Proper” rally in Charlottesville, Va. that featured members of the Ku Klux Klan in addition to neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
One man drove a automobile into a gaggle of counter protesters on the rally, killing a girl. The motive force, James Alex Fields Jr., was convicted of first-degree homicide on Friday.
Kessler has been expelled from the Proud Boys, in accordance with the SPLC.
WATCH: Canadian Armed Forces apologizes for look of members at Indigenous ceremony
The group has additionally been concerned in actions in Canada, comparable to when members interrupted an Indigenous ceremony at a statue of Edward Cornwallis in Halifax final yr.
Proud Boys members sang “God Save the Queen” to disrupt a ceremony that was meant to mourn atrocities perpetrated by Edward Cornwallis, who based Halifax.
All 5 who disrupted the occasion turned out to be members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and all of them confronted disciplinary motion.
READ MORE: Who’re the ‘Proud Boys’ who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax?
Extra not too long ago, the Proud Boys have been kicked off Fb and Instagram due to hate insurance policies on the websites.
McInnes slammed the ban, saying it solely occurred in an effort to construct up “hysteria” earlier than November’s U.S. midterm elections.
McInnes later introduced he was quitting the group, saying it might assist alleviate the sentencing for Proud Boys members who have been arrested following the fisticuffs in New York Metropolis.
“We’re not an extremist group and we would not have ties with white nationalists,” McInnes affirmed in his resignation.
- With recordsdata from Leslie Younger and The Related Press
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