NZ names Proud Boys as terrorist entity

Source: 1News

New Zealand has declared the American far-right group the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.

The declaration, which was published in the New Zealand Gazette on Monday, also designated the white supremacist paramilitary organisation The Base as a terrorist entity.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in the notice that it would mean anyone who "deals with the property of, or makes property or financial or related services available to" the two organisations might be liable for prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

There are 22 entities on New Zealand's designated terrorist entities list. The Proud Boys is the only US-based group currently listed.

The statement of case for designation released by New Zealand Police said the Proud Boys' involvement in the Capitol riots were consistent with the definition of terrorism under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

"Actions and statements by Proud Boys members both before and during the attack demonstrate an intention to cause the death or serious bodily injury to people (including political figures) within the building," the statement said.

"Proud Boys engaged in the attack on the building for the purpose of obstructing and preventing the proper functioning of democratic government and in opposition to what Proud Boys perceives as liberalisation and diversification of US society. This act was therefore carried out with the purpose of advancing Proud Boy’s ideological/political cause and with the ultimate intention of unduly compelling or forcing a government to do or abstain from any act."

Five Proud Boys leaders are currently facing charges related to the US Capitol riot of January 6, 2021.

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Andrew Little.

The Base paramilitary group in the US has also been added to the terrorist entities list for planning to shoot and kill civilians and police at a Virginia gun rights rally in 2020 and begin a "civil war".

Government Communication Security Bureau (GCSB) Minister Andrew Little couldn't say whether the Government was considering adding other far-right groups to New Zealand's designated terrorist entities list.

"One of the terrorist threats that we're dealing with at all times is the white identity extremist violent threat that potentially comes from a number of sources. I'm confident that our agencies are across those threats," he added.

New Zealand's intelligence service had been criticised for having a "limited understanding" of right-wing extremist threats in the country prior to the 2019 terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain. Instead, the SIS said it was focused on monitoring Islamist extremist activity until mid-2018.

The last addition to New Zealand's terrorist entities list was in December 2021.