FBI denies listing ‘Proud Boys’ as extremist group

Several weeks ago we ran a report that said the FBI had listed Gavin McInnes’ Proud Boys as an extremist group.

However that now appears not to the be the case, according to the FBI:

WASHINGTON TIMES – The FBI on Tuesday denied classifying the Proud Boys as an extremist group, contradicting an internal law enforcement document that recently drew parallels between the “pro-Western fraternal organization” and white nationalists.

“We do not intend and did not intend to designate the group as extremist,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon said during a media event held at the bureau’s Portland offices, The Oregonian reported.

“That was not our intention. That’s not what we do,” Mr. Cannon added, according to the outlet.

FBI officials clarified the bureau’s stance after an internal affairs report drafted by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in neighboring Washington state alleged that federal investigators have categorized the Proud Boys as “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism.”

Clark County officials requested a briefing on “domestically inspired acts of violence,” and FBI agents subsequently offered details on domestic threats posed by militias, white supremacists and anarchists, Mr. Cannon told reporters, according to The Oregonian.

The Proud Boys were discussed during the briefing, Mr. Cannon confirmed, but the FBI “tried to characterize the potential threat from individuals within that group,” he explained, The Oregonian reported.

“There have been instances where self-identified Proud Boys have been violent,” he added. “We do not intend and we do not designate groups, especially broad national groups, as extremists.”

“I can see where Clark County representatives came to that conclusion,” he added.

Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s office in Portland, confirmed in a statement that the bureau has not designated the Proud Boys as an extremist group, the city’s NBC affiliate reported.

After the initial report came out, Gavin McInnes said he was quitting the group, forever.

I honestly haven’t followed the Proud Boys that much to be honest, but they do appear to get into violent brawls a little too much for my tastes. And I’ve heard McInnes on record advocating for some of this too.

But I really just wanted to correct the record here given the FBI’s official statement on the matter.

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