- New Zealand has classified far-right groups Proud Boys and The Base as terrorist organizations.
- It is now illegal for New Zealand residents to fund, recruit or participate in the groups.
- New Zealand is prone to far-right threats following the Christchurch mass shootings in 2019.
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New Zealand has classified the American far-right groups Proud Boys and The Base as terrorist organizations, making it illegal for residents to fund, recruit or participate in the groups.
“These are white supremacist terrorist groups, and we don’t believe, and I don’t think New Zealanders believe that a New Zealander should engage and support them,” Police Secretary Chris Hipkins said at a news conference on Thursday, during which the designations were announced. announced, VOA News reported.
In a 29-page document published earlier this week, New Zealand police said the Proud Boys’ role in the January 6 Capitol riot had contributed to the decision.
Noting that the group’s “far-right ideology is based on racist and fascist principles,” the document added that its actions before and during the attack on the United States Capitol building “were intent on causing death or serious bodily harm.” to cause people (including political figures).”
Meanwhile, New Zealand police said in a separate document that The Base plans to “start a ‘race war’” in the US. Officials also cited the arrests of members of the group accused of conspiracy to murder an activist couple and reported plans by three members of the group to carry out shootings in hopes of starting a “civil war.”
It’s unclear whether either group has a significant presence in New Zealand, although the document noted that The Base had previously attempted to recruit teens in neighboring Australia. Authorities also noted that there are unlinked but ideologically affiliated branches of the Proud Boys operating in Australia.
The Proud Boys and The Base join 18 other groups, including the Islamic State, to gain an official terrorist designation in New Zealand.
According to the Associated Press, New Zealand has become more vulnerable to threats from the far right after a white supremacist shot and killed 51 Muslim worshipers in two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. Within a month of the massacre, New Zealand banned the distribution and use of military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles.