Portland Copwatch's Joint Terrorism Task Force page
NEW! January 2021:
As the City gears up to hear its second annual report from the Portland Police
on the "case by case" cooperation with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force,
community groups released another
on the JTTF on January 4.
The annual report is expected to be presented to Council on Wednesday
January 27 at 10 AM.
On October 9, 2020, 16 Oregon-based social justice organizations and
three prominent individuals sent a letter
to Governor Kate Brown asking her to end the state's cooperation
with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
NEW! September-October 2020:
On September 8, 2020, 27 organizations (and two individuals) signed a
Portland City Council to end all Portland Police cooperation with the
Joint Terrorism Task Force. The letter was updated on October 6, 2020
adding five more organizations (and another individual) bringing the
total to 32 groups and three prominent individiuals.
Most of the groups were involved in the 2017 campaign which led
to the removal
of two part-time Portland Police officers from the JTTF in 2019. However, the
May 2019 Council resolution
allows the PPB to work
with the JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including
The new letter acknowledges the current political climate in which JTTFs are blatantly
being used to spy on Americans' First Amendment activities.
INFO April 2020:
Check out this City
Council candidate questionnaire
asking the 54 candidates for the four contested seats about the JTTF.
UPDATE January 2020:
On January 28, participants in the campaign to keep Portland out of
the Joint Terrorism Task Force held a mock City Council hearing to
present concerns about the first Annual Report being given to the City.
Watch video of the event at:
The next day, City Council heard from the Police with their take
Bureau's 2019 annual report. The public was not allowed to testify.
Read the People's
Report on the JTTF which was presented ahead of the City's report.
UPDATES May 2019:
On February 13,
City Council voted to pull the two officers out
of the JTTF, with a deadline of April 9 to come up with a plan for
how the PPB will interact with the FBI in the future.
On April 17, 21 of the signers of the original letter to Council (plus one new group)
sent a letter urging council to take action.
On May 8, Council adopted the second
resolution which allows the PPB to work
with the JTTF on cases of terrorism "and/or threats to life including
A report is
due out in January 2020 which should tell us whether this increased,
rather than decreased PPB involvement with the FBI.
Read about the
FBI's bizarre December 4 news conference where they admitted they deport
people on immigration issues if they can't find criminal evidence.
Also, on January 9, the Oregonian posted
an uncritical piece stating
how the PJTTF helped Mayor Wheeler investigate a death threat coupled
with extortion (which isn't terrorism), in what seems to be part of a public
relations blitz after Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's election
and her promise to pull out of the JTTF.
In November, the FBI posted a
long list of Portland JTTF incidents trying to prove their
value to the community, but most are about individuals committing crimes, not
Watch video of the
April 17, 2018 Community Forum:
"Why Portland Should Get Back Out of
the Terrorism Task Force"
at Maranatha Church
More information • Watch
video on YouTube
Also watch this
clip from 2001 about the JTTF including testimony at City Council
and community voices such as Jo Ann Bowman (now Hardesty).
November 8, 2017:
(updated October 13, 2018 and February 13, 2019)
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TO END PORTLAND'S COOPERATION
On November 8, 2017, a
letter then signed by
23 organizations (now 49) and a prominent
Portland area survivor of unwarranted spying was presented to Portland
City Council asking to get the Portland Police out of the Joint Terrorism
Task Force (JTTF).
WITH THE FBI'S TERRORISM TASK FORCE! (AGAIN)
Note: full list of signatures in
right hand navigation bar
Since the late 1990s, Portland Police have been working with the JTTF, an
FBI-led coalition of law enforcement which includes Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, the IRS, Homeland Security and local police
The FBI and partner agencies have been targeting Muslims, immigrants,
the Black Lives Matter movement and other activists
--Between 2000-2004, Portlanders organized to get the PPB to remove its
two full-time officers from of the Joint Terrorism Task Force,
succeeding in 2005. Between 2011 and 2015, the PPB semi-rejoined the
JTTF, only assigning officers to work with the FBI part time, and
requiring annual reports which were extremely vague about the JTTF's
activities. In 2015, the PPB re-assigned two members full time after a
3-2 Council vote led by then-Mayor Charlie Hales. As of 2017, the PPB
officers are only assigned part time.
--Times have changed and there is reason to believe the targeting of
people for their First Amendment activities will only ramp up.
--We need you to contact City Council today and tell them to get
the Portland Police out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Contact information is below, or you can use the ACLU's action alert site to fill
in a pre-written email:
Mayor Ted Wheeler <firstname.lastname@example.org> 503-823-4120
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly <email@example.com> 503-823-4682
Commissioner Nick Fish <firstname.lastname@example.org> 503-823-3589
Commissioner Amanda Fritz <email@example.com> 503-823-3008
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty <firstname.lastname@example.org> 503-823-4151
1221 SW 4th Av Portland OR 97204
• Check out this history timeline
of the Portland JTTF (written 2/17)
NOTE: Because this was written at the beginning of the
campaign to get Portland back out of the JTTF, it does not include
City Council's 3-2 vote getting Portland out (Feb 2019) or the
subsequent vote outlining the Bureau's ability to work with the FBI
on a case-by-case basis (May 2019).
• Follow the list of links
to more information.
• MEMBERS OF THE PORTLAND JTTF (according to a
12/10/15 news release):
Oregon State Police
Port of Portland Police Department
Washington County Sheriff's Office
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Internal Revenue Service
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney's Office
U.S. Department of State
Diplomatic Security Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Air Marshal Service
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Note: In 2005,
the Multnomah County Sheriff joined the JTTF, it's not
clear why they are not mentioned in this list.
testimony to City Council on Sanctuary Cities and the JTTF (2/28/18)
HISTORIC BACKGROUND INFORMATION
City Council Hearing on the Portland Joint Terrorism Task
February 24 March
10 March 17,
Thursday, April 28, 2 PM City Council Chambers (SW 4th and
We worked on the effort for Portland to withdraw from the JTTF in 2005;
now Council is considering joining again. Download proposal from
the ACLU of Oregon on improving the 2005 agreement:
(.doc file) (.pdf file)
And the Mayor's
May 4, 2005:
Portland Votes to Remove Officers from Joint Terrorism Task Force
On April 28, 2005, Portland City Council voted 4-1 to withdraw its two police officers from the
Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF).
The resolution requiring the withdrawal allows 90 days for
the officers to
stop going to work every day at the FBI building, but rather to come back to work for the Portland
Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU).
Despite criticism from the mainstream media, the Portland Police Association, the Citizens Crime
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Senator Gordon Smith, and others, the resolution explicitly calls for
Police to work cooperatively with the FBI. As has been encouraged for many years by many of the
testifying to City Council about the PJTTF, it is possible for Portland to help the FBI with
investigations of those who are using violence to blow up and otherwise harm people for political
(or any other!)
reason without giving up oversight of what those officers are doing.
Details of the resolution, which stemmed from an agreement reached by Mayor Tom Potter after
Agent in Charge Robert Jordan refused to grant him, Chief Foxworth, and the City Attorney "Top
clearance to oversee the officers on the task force, include:
--The two officers will retain their "Top Secret" clearance for use during a "critical incident or
--The FBI can request the officers assist in any "Secret" level investigation subject to review and
withdrawal by the
Chief and the Mayor.
--Mayor Potter (the Police Commissioner) will not be allowed to sit in on the PJTTF Executive
Group, but Chief
Foxworth will be able to, and after Potter has "Secret" clearance Foxworth can brief the Mayor on
So for all the fearmongering that the sky is falling and the City snubbed the feds, those who have
concerns about the FBI's past and current record of spying on people for their political, religious or
affiliations have more to worry about than those who think Al Qaeda is sleeping under every child's
--The resolution doesn't explicitly call for the City Attorney to be involved in the oversight of
officers involved in
--The resolution doesn't address oversight in cases of "Top Secret" emergencies;
--The FBI was reluctant to give "Top Secret" clearance or allow Mayor Potter on the PJTTF
because he is an elected official, not a member of Law Enforcement; however, the Multnomah
office is considering joining (and the Clackamas County Sheriff's office is currently on) the
PJTTF. It has not
been made clear whether those Sheriffs, who are both elected officials _and_ law enforcement, will
be allowed into
--The FBI continues to assert that Senator Wyden has the ability to oversee the Task Forces
nationally, but Wyden
was quoted in the paper saying he would "trust and verify," which is not the same thing as having
monitoring of the JTTFs to prevent abuses;
--JTTFs in Denver, Fresno and elsewhere have already been found to have infiltrated non-criminal
--Oversight of the Portland Police Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) is practiced and permitted by
"Independent" Police Review Division (IPR). However, the actions of the officers once activated by
the FBI may
not be due to the security clearance issues;
--The FBI and the US Attorney admitted it is not their job to ensure Portland officers are following
But this is all the more reason for us to continue to demand transparency and public reporting on
the activities of
the CIU and the PJTTF.
We recommended that the Mayor add an annual review to report how often the officers are asked to
join the FBI
and whether the new agreement is working. He said he would consider doing that, if the FBI agrees
At the April 28 hearing, Mayor Potter emphasized the point that, in fact, is why Portland Copwatch
is a project of a
peace group: That in this country, we have the President, a civilian, to oversee the military, and so we
civilian oversight of law enforcement on a local level. He admitted that prior to becoming a police
officer, he shared
the fear expressed by one Arab-American man whenever he saw a police car in his rear view mirror.
He said that
the community should be assured that officers are there to protect them, not to harm them.
He expressed confidence that the resolution was the correct decision to make, shrugging off a
suggestion from a
reporter who told him that if anyone were to attack Portland, he would be "toast." He joked, "I
depends how close to it I am."
Again, he emphasized that he had built a working relationship with the FBI and the US Attorney,
perhaps a better
relationship than existed when the officers were left to work for the FBI unsupervised.
Six months after the officers actually withdraw from the Task Force, the Mayor, Chief and FBI will
agreement. (Perhaps the ACLU, who sat in on the negotiations with Potter and the FBI, will be
involved in that
By taking this proactive step now, Portland is perhaps stemming the tide of post-9/11 hysteria and
will likely be the subject of reparations and apologies some 40 years down the line.
information from prior to this new resolution is
included elsewhere on this site.
Read information on a case of
spying on our parent group, Peace and Justice Works, which was rejected by the US 9th
Circuit Court on
March 2, 2005.
To 2003 PJTTF documents page
Read the City Council
for the May 15, 2018 election including answers
from 7 of 10 candidates running for two seats.
(Note: The full Portland Copwatch questionnaire with five other
questions can be found here.)