A self-described leader of the Proud Boys was charged for his role in the Capitol riots; authorities said Joseph Biggs encouraged other extremists.
Another leader of the Proud Boys, an extremist group with ties to white nationalism, was charged Wednesday in connection with the Capitol riots, as federal authorities continue to scrutinize the group’s ties to the deadly assault.
Ethan Nordean, the self-described “sergeant-at-arms” for the group’s Seattle chapter, was charged with obstructing Congress, aiding and abetting and entering restricted grounds as part the mob that breached the Capitol building.
Nordean, also known as Rufio Panman, is one of a half-dozen group members now charged in the assault.
Two of the members arrested last month were separately named in a federal indictment Wednesday formally charging Honolulu leader Nicholas Ochs and Nicholas DeCarlo of Burleson, Texas, with obstructing Congress, theft of government property and three counts of unlawful entry.
Federal prosecutors claimed that Nordean was among those who entered the Capitol after rioters forcibly breached the doors.
“It is also alleged that Nordean was near the front of the crowd of rioters, who collectively approached, confronted, and vastly outnumbered” U.S. Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 attack.
One of the officers, Brian Sicknick, who died after clashing with the rioters, was honored by lawmakers Wednesday at a Capitol ceremony.
Two days after the riots, Nordean posted a photo on social media showing U.S. Capitol Police officer using pepper spray in an attempt to repel the attack.
“If you feel bad for the police, you are part of the problem,” Nordean wrote in a caption.
Prior to the attack, prosecutors said Nordean used social media in an alleged attempt to “organize a group that intended to engage in conflict,” seeking donations for protective gear and communications equipment.
In a Jan. 4 video, prosecutors alleged Nordean posted a caption, reading: “Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us.”
About the same time, Nordean allegedly posted another video in which the suspect vowed to “bring back that original spirit of 1776 of what really established the character of what America is. And it’s not complacency, it’s not low standards … No democracy, no peace.”
The day before the riots, Nordean also allegedly warned that “we are coming for them.”
Nordean is now among 183 suspects charged or arrested so far, from 39 states and the District of Columbia.
The suspect also is listed as a manager of a Florida corporation, registered in Miami, called Warboys LLC, along with two other Proud Boys who already have been arrested, including the group’s chairman, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio of Miami and Joe Biggs of Ormond Beach.
Separately Wednesday, the Canadian government added the Proud Boys to its list of terrorist organizations.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced Wednesday the Proud Boys were one of 13 groups now designated as terrorist organizations, including the Russian Imperial Movement and two neo-Nazi groups — the Atomwaffen Division and The Base.
“Canada will not tolerate ideological, religious or politically motivated acts of violence,” Blair said.
Canada is the first country to designate the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.
Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that authorities have linked roughly 30 defendants in the Capitol riots investigation to a group or movement, including:
- 7 defendants linked to QAnon, a once-fringe internet conspiracy movement that recently grew into a powerful force in mainstream conservative politics.
- 6 linked to the Proud Boys, a misogynistic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic group with ties to white supremacism.
- 4 linked to the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary organization that recruits current and former military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel.
- 4 linked to the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia movement.
- 2 leaders of “Super Happy Fun America,” a group with ties to white nationalists known for organizing a “straight pride” parade in downtown Boston in 2019.
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