A new document produced by Washington state's law enforcement has classified far-right group Proud Boys as an "extremist group with ties to white nationalism," following Southern Poverty Law Center's move to list them as a hate group earlier this year.
The document states that group, which was founded by Vice Media co-founder and certified man-baby Gavin McInnes, has a history of glorifying violence, misogynistic behavior, and white nationalism. “The FBI has warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific north-west. [...] Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”
The FBI's designation has just been made public for the first time, marking a major blow for the disgraced McInnes. The Proud Boys have deemed themselves to be a "western chauvinist group" in the past, although now they've got a far worse tag thanks to the FBI. The document reads, "The FBI categorizes the Proud Boys as an extremist group with ties to white nationalism. The Proud Boy Girls are believed to be an affiliate group of women who openly support the ideology of the Proud Boys. The FBI Seattle office is unsure of how many female members are active in the Pacific Northwest."
Michael McCabe, who is in charge of internal affairs, training, background investigation, and courthouse security in the Clark County sheriff's department, is the author of the document. He confirmed the authenticity of the document with Guardian in a telephone interview, explaining that the FBI's classification of the Proud Boys as an extremist group was announced in a meeting with the FBI back in August.
In that meeting, McCabe says the FBI confirmed it's "been warning [local law enforcement] for a while" about the group, "not just in Washington but around the nation." The Proud Boys gained a lot of notoriety this year after numerous accounts of them inciting and escalating street violence in New York City and Portland. They've been known to clash with anti-fascist protestors on a regular basis.