News & Politics

San Francisco Cuts Ties with FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, left, and Mayor Ed Lee, right. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

What is it about the city San Francisco that makes the rest of the country want to grab them by the shoulders and shake the silliness out of them?

The city is known for adopting policies that set them apart from the rest of the U.S. — so much so that it makes you wonder if they want to remain a part of the United States.

A few years ago, a referendum was passed that ordered the National Guard not to recruit in local high schools. They allow homeless people the run of the city, letting them use the streets as restrooms and homeowners’ stoops as bedrooms. And, of course, their status as a sanctuary city leaves their citizens — and visitors — wide open to violent crime from illegal aliens.

Now the city has made the rest of us a little less safe from terrorism. The mayor and chief of police have withdrawn from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force — a 104-unit body that shares intelligence on potential terrorists and terrorist attacks.

Fox News:

Critics say the sanctuary city by  the bay’s latest decision to forego cooperation with Washington, by dropping out of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, could put lives at risk. The JTTF has been credited with foiling 93 Islamist terrorist attacks and plots against the U.S. since 2001, including 12 this year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation. There are another 1,000 investigations into suspected terror activity nationwide.

These staggering statistics make the recent decision by the San Francisco police department to end the city’s partnership with the JTTF, at the behest of local activist groups that alleged Arabs and Muslims are wrongly targeted by the FBI and will be more so under the Trump administration, all the more concerning, said retired federal law enforcement officials.

“In my opinion, the decision by the mayor and the police chief to withdraw the San Francisco Police Department from the JTTF is really narrow-minded,” said Mark Rossini, a retired FBI special agent, and founding executive of the National Counterterrorism Center, who served as a representative to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center. “Politics aside, and the mayor and leaders of San Francisco have their right to their opinion, political opinion and beliefs. But when you’re working in law enforcement, law enforcement should know no politics.”

The FBI leads the 104 Joint Terrorism Task Force units across the country, but the majority of intelligence about crime and terror comes from local sources, said Claude Arnold, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, who worked in California.

“There is less chance of uncovering networks, plots, missing pieces of a puzzle, without cities participating in the JTTF,” Arnold said.

San Francisco police have dozens of undercover agents and contacts in immigrant communities helpful to federal law enforcement investigations. Conversely, two San Francisco police are federally deputized for the JTTF, and as a result have access to classified intelligence.

“Information must flow both ways in these cases,” Rossini said. “By San Francisco pulling out, you’re losing that vital link of data that the FBI and the other federal agencies and the Department of Justice will need in order to complete its cases and investigate them thoroughly.”

Suppose San Francisco is hit by a serious terrorist attack. Why should the rest of the country help them? When they invite terrorists to hit their city, why should the rest of us indulge their conceits?

How much in denial are local critics of the JTTF? John Crew, a retired lawyer who works with CAIR and the ACLU and is overjoyed that the city will no longer be a part of the task force, had this to say:

“This issue is really about the need for local police officers to comply with state and local laws and policies even when they are working with the FBI JTTF,” Crew said.

Neither Crew, nor his many allies in San Francisco, are apprehensive area residents may be in danger because of a lack of representation on the JTTF.

“I’m not the least bit concerned,” Crew said.

Too bad the rest of us don’t share his confidence — or his ignorance.

Crew and his allies are celebrating the withdrawal of their city from the JTTF, but isn’t that sort of like having a party for removing the smoke detectors from your house? This senseless, knee-jerk reaction against anything we try to do to protect ourselves from terrorism may get a lot of Americans killed because of San Francisco’s mindless opposition to the federal government.