Critics are lambasting the city of San Francisco’s decision to back out of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The city, which is a sanctuary for illegal aliens, might be endangering its citizens further by pulling out of the task force, critics warned, according to Fox News.
The task force has been credited with preventing 93 radical Islamist terrorist attacks since 2001 with another ongoing 1,000 investigations, according to the Heritage Foundation.
“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,” retired FBI special agent Mark Rossini, a founding executive of the National Counterterrorism Center, said. “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.”
Former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Claude Arnold, said the majority of the intelligence obtained by the task force comes from local sources.
“There is less chance of uncovering networks, plots, missing pieces of a puzzle, without cities participating in the JTTF,” Arnold told Fox News.
“Information must flow both ways in these cases,” Rossini added. “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.”
Former FBI agent Lauren Anderson said the decision can impact Americans nationwide.
“In virtually every terrorist prevention or incident, local law enforcement was the first point of interaction,” she said.
She cited a 2010 wannabe Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, as an example.
“Two street vendors noticed a vehicle with smoke and told New York Police Department officers. Because NYPD was physically present on the JTTF, the information was shared immediately and members of the JTTF were at the scene in minutes,” she said.
But San Francisco contends that the task force discriminates against Muslims. The decision was applauded by local activists.
“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,” retired attorney John Crew, who works with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Fox News.
“I’m not the least bit concerned,” about danger posed to Americans by the decision, Crew said.
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