Proud Boys Canada, a far-right group added to the country’s list of terrorist entities in February, announced Sunday it had dissolved itself.
In February, The Canadian government had designated the US far-right group as a banned terrorist organization.
Canadian authorities said the Proud Boys are a “serious and growing threat”. US Federal prosecutors investigated the Capitol riots and had charged Proud Boys with conspiracy charges.
“The truth is, we were never terrorists or a white supremacy group,” the statement posted by the administrator of the official Proud Boys channel on Telegram said.
“We are electricians, carpenters, financial advisors, mechanics, etc. More than that, we are fathers, brothers, uncles and sons,” it added.
Founded in 2016, the Proud Boys began as an organization protesting political correctness and perceived constraints on masculinity in the United States and Canada, and grew into a group that embraced street fighting.
The group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, is a Canadian who lives in the United States.
In its earliest days, the Proud Boys attracted salacious media coverage for their extreme initiation rites — new members, for example, have to subject themselves to a beating and get a Proud Boys tattoo.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in February that domestic intelligence forces had become increasingly worried about the group.
(With inputs from agencies)
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