[pjw] ANALYSIS: People's report on Joint Terrorims Task Force for 2019

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Wed Jan 15 12:13:12 EST 2020

Supporters of peace and justice
We sent this analysis to the Council, Chief and the media just now. Feel 
free to share it widely. We expect the City's official report on the JTTF 
to be out in the next few days, and it will be presented to Council either 
next week or the week of Jan. 27. If you haven't yet, please keep 
pressuring the Mayor to take public testimony when it is presented.
dan handelman
peace and justice works/portland copwatch

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:10:27
From: Peace and Justice Works <pjw at pjw.info>
To: Portland City Council -- Commissioner Amanda Fritz
     <amanda at portlandoregon.gov>,
     Commissioner Chloe Eudaly <chloe at portlandoregon.gov>,
     Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty <joann at portlandoregon.gov>,
     Mayor Ted Wheeler <MayorWheeler at portlandoregon.gov>,
     Chief Jami Resch <Jami.Resch at portlandoregon.gov>,
     News Media <newsmedia at pjw.info>
Cc: Peace and Justice Works <pjw at pjw.info>,
     Portland Copwatch <copwatch at portlandcopwatch.org>
Subject: ANALYSIS: People's report on Joint Terrorims Task Force for 2019

January 15, 2020

In anticipation of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) publishing an Annual Report
("Report") on its case-by-case collaboration with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task
Force (JTTF), several community organizations present the following report based
on media accounts and information from the Bureau itself.

In short, expert and local testimony against the City of Portland's
participation in the JTTF given in February 2019 before Portland City Council
has been confirmed by numerous local and national publications. Portland was
misled about the cooperation between its officers and the JTTF, and seems to be
involved in questionable activity contrary to state law. To protect the basic
civil rights of local residents, the City of Portland should stay out of the
Task Force.

Both the requirement for the Report and the requirement that the PPB stop
assigning officers to the JTTF on a part-time basis were established and
affirmed by Resolution 37424 passed on May 8, 2019.

For background on Portland's history organizing against participation in the
Task Force since 2000, pulling out in 2005, rejoining in 2011, and pulling out
again in 2019, see http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/pjttf.html#resources .


Getting information on FBI conduct is extremely difficult. The reports below are
just a glimpse into institutionally biased FBI-related surveillance as it plays
out in our region.

--Recap of 2018 JTTF Activities as Precursor to 2019

On February 12, 2019, the day before City Council voted to pull the part-time
officers out of the JTTF, the Bureau released its 2018 Annual Report. City
Commissioner Amanda Fritz requested the report to inform an important City
Council decision. The Report falls short in several areas, but also exposes
issues around the JTTF's activities and incomplete or even contradictory
information. This includes Portland officers working on low-level
investigations, reporting on fewer investigations than are indicated, and
dubious community outreach.


FBI "assessments" are investigations that can essentially be opened up on mere
speculation, that is, information that doesn't conform to the state law
requiring reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to conduct
surveillance. It would seem working on such assessments would merely by
definition be contrary to the guidelines established in ORS 181A.250. Yet the
Bureau's 2018 Report says Portland's Task Force Officers (TFOs) "co-managed" 29
such assessments. The participated in 35 "interview reports." They also assisted
in four full time investigations, only one of which is outlined in the Report:

   In May 2018 members of the Portland JTTF worked closely with
   local law enforcement and family services to mitigate the threat posed
   by an individual who was espousing increasingly violent ideology and
   committing physically abusive acts against family members. The
   individual was arrested by members of the JTTF on state charges and
   successfully placed into mental health counseling and a treatment plan.

The Bureau-wide Annual Report for 2018 states there was only one investigation
done under the auspices of the JTTF, but it is of a different case:

   In 2018, CIU conducted 64 assessments and investigations on threats
   of violence, including one investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task
   Force, resulting in a federal indictment for Transmitting Threatening
   Communications with Intent to Extort.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/740322 at page 9

This appears to be the case of Kermit Paulson, a paraplegic man who made a
clearly unachievable threat to toss explosives at Mayor Ted Wheeler's home.

So before we even get to the JTTF's activities of 2019, it must be noted that
the public has not been given consistent reporting on their 2018 activities.

The JTTF Report also revealed that, in regards to "Outreach, Education, and
Transparency," the TFOs and their supervisor, Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Criminal
Intelligence Unit:

   maintain relationship [sic] with community groups and
   organizations with an interested [sic] in the JTTF. Specifically,
   presentations have been made to the Jewish Federation of Portland,
   the Muslim Advisory Council, the Columbia River Chapter of the
   American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), and the Portland
   Citizen's [sic] Crime Commission.

The Citizens Crime Commission and Jewish Federation were the only two groups
which publicly stated support for the JTTF in the face of organized opposition
to the PPB's cooperation. ASIS, it turns out, is not a grassroots group but
rather an organization that provides training to law enforcement and security
professionals, and the treasurer of its local chapter is none other than Sgt.

The 2019 JTTF Report also points out that the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU):

   has a webpage to highlight partnerships with the JTTF, the
   Oregon TITAN Fusion Center, and the Portland Police Bureau's
   Behavioral Health Unit.

The Guardian (October 2) reveals the Fusion Center seems to also be collecting
information about people's social, political and religious affiliations without
reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and needs as much attention from City
Council as the JTTF does.

Perhaps most troubling is that the Report acknowledges "racially-motivated
violent extremists" but seems more interested in looking at "Homegrown Violent
Extremism," seen by many as a euphemism for the FBI encouraging suspicion of
Muslims and Arabs as terrorists. No international terror organizations have
committed atrocities in Oregon, even while white supremacist organizations and
individuals such as Jeremy Christian have attacked and killed people in the
area. It should be noted that white supremacy is an international ideology which
has driven murders locally and nationally.

--2019 Activities

1) Journalists have exposed the Portland Police coordinating with the FBI, state
law enforcement, and private industry to criminalize and disrupt people engaged
in lawful activity opposing the Jordan Cove pipeline.

PPB Criminal Intelligence Unit Officer Andrew Hearst told the South West Oregon
Joint Task Force (SWOJTF) he would let them know when Portland folks head south
to protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline (The Guardian, August 8). Protesting
is not a criminal activity, so it is highly problematic that Hearst is openly
promising to violate ORS 181A.250.

The SWOJTF is based out of the Coos County Sheriff's office including local
police, the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service (OPB,
August 8). It is not clear why Portland Police needed to be looped in to this
Task Force.

2) The PPB, perhaps through the CIU, apparently assisted the JTTF, including FBI
and Clackamas County officers, in seizing guns from Shane Kohfield. Kohfield
threatened to kill Antifa members in a communication with a Congressperson in
Texas and, in an action in front of Mayor Wheeler's house, Kohfield made more
violent threats (Oregonlive, August 30). Perhaps this indicates a pattern that
the focus on anti-terrorism in Portland revolves around the Police Commissioner.
The writers of this analysis point out that even if it was appropriate to take
away Mr. Kohfield's guns, this does not mean that the FBI's resources were
required to investigate these threats.

3) In early December, the Bureau finalized its Directive (policy) outlining how
the PPB will interface with the Terrorism Task Force, based nearly word-for-word
on the May Resolution passed at City Council. The Resolution and the Directive
both allow for the PPB to work with the FBI's Task Force dozens or maybe
hundreds of times per year, as the cooperation is to be on "any individual
suspected cases of terrorism and/or threats to life, including hate crimes, in
or having a direct nexus to the City of Portland."

Directive 750.00, Procedure Section 1.1

Organizations who supported Portland's withdrawal from the JTTF believe this
language is too permissive.


1) The City of San Francisco, which pulled out of its JTTF in early 2017,
uncovered a "white paper" showing the FBI lied to the City about officers being
involved in low-level "assessments" which violates their local laws on spying in
the same way they violate ORS 181A.575 (the Intercept, November 1). Activists
working on the campaign that led to San Francisco pulling out of their JTTF
point to this report as evidence supporting the City's decision to get out.

2) The Marshall Project reports that Saint Paul, MN and Atlanta, GA police have
stopped cooperating with federal Marshals' task forces because they would not
let local officers use body cameras and/or be held accountable. The Atlanta
decision happened after one officer shot an unarmed man while working with the
Marshals. The October 31 piece references Portland's decision to pull out of the
JTTF as another example of cities ending cooperation with the feds.

3) Former FBI agent Michael German published a book about the FBI, which
includes information about Portland's withdrawal from the JTTF in the context of
examples showing the FBI's over-reach and improper conduct. The book provides
documentation and context for numerous concerns voiced by Portland community
members and groups during the 2019 City Council hearings, including testimony
from Muslim Americans subjected to FBI profiling and detention. It shows that
the FBI's leadership is not interested in protecting US residents' civil rights.

4) An Inspector General's report looking into FBI surveillance of aides to
then-candidate Donald Trump revealed that to obtain warrants under the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act:

   FBI agents withheld information from Justice Department attorneys
   that was beneficial to [Carter] Page, and undermined the veracity and
   reliability of a key source of information (Los Angeles Times,
   December 9).

This is just further evidence that the FBI as an institution is not trustworthy.


In addition to the long history of the FBI targeting immigrants, leftists and
civil rights leaders, these new revelations show that Portland's decision to get
out of the JTTF were well warranted. If the PPB's report on its 2019 activities
continues to obfuscate and mislead the public, it should be cause to revoke even
the limited basis on which our officers are currently restricted to working with
the Task Force.

This report compiled and/or supported by
Peace and Justice Works / Portland Copwatch
League of Women Voters of Portland
Unite Oregon
Portland's Resistance
Portland Democratic Socialists of America\
Brandon Mayfield
Veterans For Peace Chapter 72
Individuals for Justice

More information about the pjw-list mailing list