Commissioner Leonard wrote the following letter to his Council colleagues Wednesday outlining the protocols that were agreed to by the City, the US Attorney, and the FBI when the City withdrew from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in 2005. The protocols were developed to insure the free flow of information and resources as necessary to thwart terrorist threats. The resolution outlines those protocols, which led to a successful partnership among the City, FBI, and US Attorney in apprehending the suspected Pioneer Courthouse Square terrorist.
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:09 PM
To: Saltzman, Dan; Adams, Sam; Fish, Nick; Fritz, Amanda
Cc: City Elected Officials Exec's; Reese, Mike; Kuykendall, Mike; Meng, Linda
Subject: Joint Terrorism Task Force
What would have happened that didn’t happen in the successful apprehension of the Pioneer Courthouse Square suspect if the City were a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force?
That is the first question that should be asked before anyone in a position of responsibility should suggest that the attempted bombing of the tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square demands that the City re-join the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
I am deeply concerned at the near universal mischaracterization of the City Council’s decision to withdraw from the JTTF in 2005.
The resolution passed in 2005 (attached) contained thoughtful protocols within which the Portland Police Bureau, the FBI and the US Attorneys Office will work as partners to investigate any terrorist threat made towards the City of Portland.
Here is the list of those protocols, taken directly from the 2005 resolution:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution does not prohibit the cooperation and collaboration between the Portland Police Bureau and Federal Government on specific cases or investigations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that with respect to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Mayor and the FBI have agreed that the Portland Police Bureau officers currently assigned to the JTTF will be removed from JTTF and reassigned to the City’s Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) with direct oversight and supervision of City officials within 90 days after passage of this resolution;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that to ensure Citizen Security and Safety
• Portland Police Bureau officers will continue cooperating with all federal partners to insure the security and safety of the city,
• Portland Police Bureau/CIU officers will contact the FBI immediately with any information regarding possible terrorist threats,
• The Police Chief will remain a member of the JTTF Executive Group, which is briefed on the work of the JTTF.
• The Police Chief will brief the Mayor immediately after each Executive Group meeting, and
• The FBI Special Agent in Charge has agreed to immediately contact the Mayor and Police Chief for briefings regarding terrorist threats.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that regarding Security Clearances
• Portland officers currently assigned to JTTF will retain Top Secret clearances, however, those clearances will not be used except during a critical incident or imminent terrorist threat, as determined by the FBI,
• The FBI has agreed to brief the Mayor the Police Chief regarding any such incidents or threats, and
• The Police Chief will retain Secret clearance, and
• The Mayor will apply for Secret clearance.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that regarding Communication and Collaboration between City and Federal Agents
• The need for assistance from PPB/CIU officers on JTTF terrorism investigations will be determined by the FBI on a case-by-case basis,
• The participation of PPB/CIU officers will be limited to Secret-level investigations and will be consistent with ORS 181.575 and ORS 181.850,
• The Mayor and Police Chief will provide oversight of PPB officers during these investigations,
• The City and the FBI have agreed that if the City determines that participation by PPB/CIU officers may violate ORS 181.575 or ORS 181.850, the City may withdraw its officers from participation, and
• Terror Alert information will continue to be shared with City officials by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that regarding Training and Assistance
• The FBI has agreed to provide PPB officers with roll call training, supervisory and management training on terrorist-related issues.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that regarding the Portland Criminal Intelligence Unit
• The CIU will not conduct independent terrorist investigations,
• The CIU will contact the FBI immediately with terrorism information, and
• The CIU will consult with the FBI on questionable cases as to who has jurisdiction and the FBI will determine jurisdiction.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor, the Police Chief and the FBI will meet in six months to review and evaluate their operations under this Resolution.
It is clear from the 2005 resolution that the same coordination between the FBI and the Portland Police Bureau is required when a specific terrorist threat exists whether the City of Portland is a member of the JTTF or not.
In fact, the Portland Police Bureau did cooperate and work with the FBI beginning this past September when it became clear to the FBI that Portland was the target of a potential terrorist act.
Given this information, I hope that we can each do our part to dispel the myth that has been promoted by some to the public that the Portland Police Bureau was not fully engaged with the FBI in the investigation and arrest of the suspected Pioneer Courthouse Square terrorist.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.