Watch: CNN's 10-minute explainer of the Proud Boys

John Avlon, who covers CNN's "extremist beat," hosts this video about the origins and intentions of the far-right Proud Boys, which one former member said has become "too much like a nationwide criminal gang."

The Proud Boys was formed in 2016 as a "right-wing fight club," says Avlon, and has evolved into a "Presidential-sanction paramilitary group."

West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reports that:

"The Proud Boys have emerged as both a manifestation of and driver for polarization and political violence in the United States since their inception in 2016… The evolution of the Proud Boys has seemingly culminated in the central role members of the group allegedly played in the storming of the U.S. Capitol… Accelerationist factions of the Proud Boys have been pushing violence within the organization, as well as networking with neo-Nazi terrorist organizations… Emboldened by the relative impunity with which they seemingly continue to operate, the group appears to be using the flashpoint of January 6 as an opportunity to further position themselves as the tip of the spear for extreme far-right political mobilization"