Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018
News

The FBI says the Proud Boys are not an extremist group after all

Gavin McInnes (center), founder of the far-right group Proud Boys, is surrounded by supporters after speaking at a rally in Berkeley, CA, in 2017. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP ) Eli Rosenberg Mission reporter covering national news and breaking news December 7 at 10:02 PM A senior FBI official told reporters that the chauvinist group Proud Boys, who made headlines for their role in violent clashes in Portland and in New York, is not considered an extremist group, which is at odds with a report from a Washington State sheriff's office that circulated in November. According to the Oregonian agent, the special agent in charge, Renn Cannon, said during a discussion with the Portland area media that the FBI had no intention to designate the group as extremists during a slide show with the Clark County Sheriff's Office. The office later released a report that the FBI believed the group had links to white nationalism, an assertion the Proud Boy is pushing back. The FBI states that it assesses threats and investigates individuals who may cause violence, but does not target individuals for belonging to particular groups or to exercise their right to freedom of expression. "Our goal is not to belong to particular groups but to individuals who commit acts of violence and criminal activity constituting a federal crime or a threat to national security," said a statement distributed by spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton in November. "In dealing with national terrorism, our investigations focus solely on the criminal activities of individuals – regardless of their membership in a group – that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population or to influence government policy through intimidation or coercion. The FBI does not monitor and control the ideology. The Proud Boys are one of many male-dominated right-wing groups that have emerged since the election of President Trump. They describe themselves as a fraternal group of "western chauvinists" who believe in ending social welfare, closing borders and embracing traditional gender roles. But critics point out other statements and behaviors to assert that these goals are a subterfuge for racist and hateful beliefs. "Their actions deny sectarianism: the Proud Boys and their leaders, men and women at the grassroots, regularly launch white nationalist speeches and maintain links with known extremists," writes the Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers the Proud Boys as a hate group. a report. "They are known for their anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric." The group drew national media attention for its involvement in a fight that broke out in the streets of New York after being invited to a Republican club in the city. The police indicted nine people affiliated with the group after the incident. Read more: FBI says Proud Boys extremists have links to white nationalism, law enforcement officials say The political violence is spreading from coast to coast, while Proud Boys and Antifa activists clash in New York, Portland. The feeling is not reciprocal. .

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