The New Zealand government has designated the Proud Boys a terrorist organization over its involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
June 29 (UPI) -- New Zealand has quietly designated the Proud Boys and The Base, two right-wing extremist groups in the United States, as terrorist organizations.
The groups were separately designated under the authority of Police Commissioner Andrew Coster on June 20 but the moves were made public Monday in a statement published by the official New Zealand Gazette.
"The designations of The Base and the Proud Boys will expire on 20 June 2025 unless earlier revoked or extended," Coster said.
The designations permit citizens who deal with propriety under the groups' names or make financial or related services available to them liable to be prosecuted under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
"These are White supremacist terrorist groups, and we don't believe, and I don't think New Zealanders believe, that any New Zealander should be enabling and supporting them," Police Minister Chris Hipkins said, according to local news organization Stuff.
The Proud Boys, which was formed in 2016 and are aligned with former President Donald Trump, was designated due to its participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The designations come amid a series of hearings by a House select committee investigating the attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, and have highlighted the Proud Boys involvement in the siege.
Its leader, Enrique Tarrio, and other members of the group have been charged in federal court with seditious conspiracy and other offenses related to Jan. 6.
The Proud Boys' "involvement in the violent attack on the building is consistent with the definition of a terrorist attack," states a statement of case outlining the government's reason for designating the group. It also adds that the Proud Boys' "extreme right-wing ideology is founded on racist and fascist principles."
The Base, which the Anti-Defamation League calls a "small militant neo-Nazi organization," was designated over its efforts to start a "race war" with intent that it will lead to the collapse of the democratic government and the establishment of a fascist and White supremacist rule, according New Zealand's statement of case on its designation.
New Zealand has designated 20 non-United Nations listed entities as terrorist organization.
The move follows Canada designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist group in February 2021.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo