Although law enforcement officials claim that the city of San Francisco is weakening counter-terrorism efforts by withdrawing from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the city is moving forward.
“After 9/11, Congress required U.S. law enforcement to increase the flow of intel between federal agencies and local police,” reported Shannon Bream. “But in the wake of President Trump’s election, the San Francisco police department says it’s pulling out of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and it’s cutting ties.”
“San Francisco says it doesn’t want it’s police gathering intelligence or surveilling Muslims or anyone else involved with political protests,” reported Will La Jeunesse, “or to keep records, and they fear that will happen illegally under President Trump. The critics say pulling out of the JTTF is short-sighted, and dangerous.”
“We’re prepared for a lot of different kinds of scenarios, but I just think that the one thing that we didn’t prepare for is, y’know, the Trump administration.” says San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed, a Democrat.
CAIR, the Muslim advocacy group, applauded the decision by San Francisco officials.
“After seven years of advocacy we welcome the suspension of SFPD participation in the JTTF,” said Brittney Rezaei, CAIR-SFBA Civil Rights Attorney. “As our concerns with the conduct of the federal government increase, we are happy to see our police department take this important step to ensure its commitment to protecting our community.”
“Joint Terrorism Task Forces have had a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of Arab and Muslim communities throughout the country,” according to Nina Farnia, President of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The Task Forces have led raids of activists’ homes and offices for merely engaging in the right to dissent. In the face of ever-increasing repression by the federal government, we applaud local agencies’ decision to suspend participation in the JTTF.”