Ottawa, Canada (CNN)Canada announced Wednesday that the Proud Boys will be designated as a terrorist entity along with 12 other groups.
The Proud Boys will be deemed an "ideologically motivated violent extremist group" along with three others: Atomwaffen Division, The Base and Russian Imperial Movement, the government said in a news release.
"Their violent actions and rhetoric are fueled by white supremacy, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny, and unfortunately, often in combination of all of the above," said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair at a news conference Wednesday.
Government officials say the move will help Canada freeze the groups' financial assets and criminalize financing, training and recruitment for all such groups.
When asked about the new terrorist designation for the Proud Boys, Blair said that the events of January 6 on the US Capitol did initiate a "political response" in Canada, but that the decision was not political.
"And as disturbing and concerning as those images and those events were, they also provided law enforcement and our intelligence services with a trove of new information in which quite frankly, many of these groups revealed themselves," said Blair, adding that Canada's decision was based on "evidence, intelligence and the law."
Canadian government officials say they know of no other nation that has designated the Proud Boys a terrorist group.
"What I can tell you is over the past several months, basically since 2018, we have seen an escalation and there is an escalation towards violence for this group," said Blair referring to the Proud Boys adding that, "In the aftermath of the US presidential election we've seen an escalation in supports that signal an escalation towards violence in a number of different groups, including the Proud Boys."
CNN reached out to the leader of the Proud Boys, Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, for comment but has not heard back.
"We work very closely with law enforcement agencies and our national security partners, ... (and in the case of the Proud Boys) we have been monitoring very carefully and gathering evidence that supports the determination and the decision that was made with respect to this," said Blair.
Last month, Parliament una