The government of New Zealand has deemed the far-right organisations the Proud Boys and The Base in the United States to be terrorist organisations.
It is now unlawful to support, recruit for, or engage in any of these organisations in New Zealand, and the authorities are required to take action against them. These two groups join 18 others, including the Islamic State, that have been granted an official terrorist classification.
It is not known whether any groups from the United States are active in New Zealand; however, the country in the South Pacific has become more aware of the dangers posed by extremists on the far right since a white supremacist opened fire and killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. The murder in New Zealand served as an inspiration for subsequent white supremacist attacks throughout the globe, such as the one in which a white shooter massacred ten persons of African descent at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
The State Department of the United States only includes international organisations on its list of terrorist entities. On the other hand, Canada designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist organisation only a year ago, but Britain, Canada, and Australia all designated The Base as a terrorist organisation in the past. In an explanation of the Proud Boys classification that was issued on Thursday and consisted of 29 pages, New Zealand officials said that the group’s participation in the violent assault that took place on January 6, 2021, against the United States Capitol building constituted an act of terrorism.
According to the statement, even though multiple other militia groups were engaged, it was the Proud Boys who were the ones who incited crowds, organised assaults on law enforcement officials, and led other rioters to a location where they could break into the building.
According to the statement, there are independent but ideologically aligned chapters of the Proud Boys functioning in both Canada and Australia. These chapters are not tied to one another.
The police in New Zealand said that prior to the assault on the Capitol, the Proud Boys had a history of utilising street rallies and social media to intimidate opponents and attract young men via shows of violence. This occurred before the attack on the Capitol. It was alleged that the gang had erected a number of smoke screens in order to conceal its fanaticism.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys, along with four people connected to the organisation, were charged with seditious conspiracy in the United States earlier this month. The charges stem from what federal prosecutors believe was a concerted assault on the Capitol building. The indictment makes the allegation that the Proud Boys participated in a conspiracy to unlawfully resist the transfer of presidential authority via the use of force. The five defendants are due to appear in federal court in Washington, District of Columbia, in the month of August.
When presenting their case against The Base, the police in New Zealand said that one of the primary objectives of the organisation was to “develop a cadre of radicals capable of accelerationist violence.”
According to the statement, the group’s founder, Rinaldo Nazzaro, “has repeatedly counselled members online on violence, the procurement of weapons, and acts to expedite the collapse of the United States government and survive the subsequent period of chaos and bloodshed.”