The city of Portland, Ore., will contribute to an anti-terrorism partnership with federal and state authorities on an “as-needed basis,” following a six year absence from the venture, The Oregonian reported Thursday.
The Portland City Council unanimously endorsed the “as-needed” participation with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, allowing the police chief to put officers on cases after consulting with the police commissioner. But Portland will not sign an official memorandum of understanding with the FBI.
The city pulled out of the task force in 2005 over worries about insufficient supervision and civil liberties protections. But the arrest of Somali-born U.S. citizen Mohamed Osman Mohamud on charges that he tried to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland restarted a debate in the city over the task force, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Oregon U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton welcomed the city council’s decision to participate in the task force.
“Everywhere I went early on in this process, cynics and skeptics said to me, ‘Council will never do anything serious. It’s just not that kind of place. It won’t get done. It will get lost in the weeds.’” Holton said, according to The Oregonian. “And you’ve proved them wrong, and I’m deeply, deeply grateful for that.”