The FBI now classifies the Proud Boys as an extremist groups with ties to white nationalism, according to a report published Monday.
The new classification has been in place since the summer and was revealed in a report by a Washington state law enforcement official, the Guardian newspaper reported. It is the first time the designation has been made public.
Michael McCabe, an official with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed the designation to the British newspaper. He said the FBI is warning local law enforcement that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. McCabe told the British newspaper he was first notified of the classification in early August.
Proud Boys founder and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes has repeatedly denied the group is an alt-right or white nationalist organization.
Technology companies have taken steps to distance themselves from the Proud Boys in recent months. Both Amazon and PayPal cut ties with the group after its members were involved in a skirmish with protesters in New York. Facebook has also banning accounts associated with the Proud Boys.