News

Sheriff's Office forms task force to investigate right-wing extremists

As presidential inauguration nears, law enforcement asks public to notify them of terrorist threats

Supporters of President Donald Trump showed up to a rally he hosted in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. Many attendees participated in a riot that followed at the Capitol. Courtesy J.M. Giordano.

A special task force to combat right-wing extremists was announced by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

The task force was formed in response to the recent attacks on the U.S. Capitol and the heightened level of security in advance of the presidential inauguration.

"The task force will be comprised of Sheriff's Deputies, detectives and other law enforcement personnel to investigate any right-wing terrorists or terrorist groups that have any intention of harming public officials, destroying government facilities or putting our community at risk," the office announced in a press release. "The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office remains dedicated to the preservation of public safety and the protection of constitutional rights. We have zero tolerance for violence and terrorism in our community and value our partnership with the community to achieve this goal."

The sheriff's office is asking the public to report information related to radical right-wing terrorists who pose a threat or intend to pose a threat to public safety in Santa Clara County. Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.To speak directly to a person, call 408-808-4400.

The office also will be working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center on information that requires a collaborative investigation. Information also can be forwarded directly to these federal agencies by visiting fbi.gov/tips or by contacting the sheriff's office at [email protected]

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Sheriff's Office forms task force to investigate right-wing extremists

As presidential inauguration nears, law enforcement asks public to notify them of terrorist threats

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:24 pm

A special task force to combat right-wing extremists was announced by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

The task force was formed in response to the recent attacks on the U.S. Capitol and the heightened level of security in advance of the presidential inauguration.

"The task force will be comprised of Sheriff's Deputies, detectives and other law enforcement personnel to investigate any right-wing terrorists or terrorist groups that have any intention of harming public officials, destroying government facilities or putting our community at risk," the office announced in a press release. "The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office remains dedicated to the preservation of public safety and the protection of constitutional rights. We have zero tolerance for violence and terrorism in our community and value our partnership with the community to achieve this goal."

The sheriff's office is asking the public to report information related to radical right-wing terrorists who pose a threat or intend to pose a threat to public safety in Santa Clara County. Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.To speak directly to a person, call 408-808-4400.

The office also will be working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center on information that requires a collaborative investigation. Information also can be forwarded directly to these federal agencies by visiting fbi.gov/tips or by contacting the sheriff's office at [email protected]

Comments

citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm
citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm
37 people like this

I'm really concerned that what happened last Wednesday was enabled not just by the potus' incitement, but also by his abandonment of his duty to ensure there was security of the capitol.
How can we know that everything will be done to ensure the safety of the city and new President and Vice President (and everyone else), if Trump remains in office? He is nothing if not a constant schemer -- he is permanently on the offensive, and the only way to deal with someone like that is to frankly stay on the offensive against him. Which no one does, hence he just can't seem to leave us alone and let us restore our nation. He seems to especially want to target times when we would otherwise be celebrating victories like the national election, or the Georgia election -- he plots to steal the limelight no matter how destructive, especially if the limelight might go to those who won against him It's a given that he will do worse if those trying to protect us from him and his lawless violent antidemocracy minions do not get him out of office and keep on the offensive against him.

I don't hear what he could do now, worse, being discussed in the debates in Washington today, that all lawmakers (regardless of party) are at greater risk if the current potus' dereliction of duty continues in the run up to the inauguration. Competent, honest governance matters, especially in a superpower like ours.

I'm still hearing way too much of the Republicans' propensity to twist themselves into pretzels of lies and partisan justifications to blame everything on Democrats, straw men, made up villains ("antifa"), etc, and not nearly enough taking responsibility and acting honorably for our nation (even to the extent of endangering themselves and our nation). Right now, the biggest inciter, ensuring we remain divided and shoring up the confirmation biases of the insurrectionists, is Fox & Friends. They just keep going back to their old false framing, and that enables the insurrectionists to go on. But they've been given the banner of legitimacy by years of lies, misinformation, and hatemongering from their talking heads going unchallenged for years. They, more than almost anyone, are responsible for current divisions and a Republican party that seems almost lost to values like personal responsibility or truth. The potus didn't incite insurrection in a vacuum.




Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 12, 2021 at 6:06 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 6:06 pm
21 people like this

Watching the news today the FBI was aware there was a potential problem and did not advise correctly to those on the ground. A total lapse in communication from those in the know who regularly track the known trouble makers and have sophisticated surveillance equipment. So take a deep breathe and let the process play out. There is more to this story. And a lot of people going to jail.


Name hidden
Downtown North

Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 10:49 am
Name hidden, Downtown North

Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 10:49 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm
citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm
6 people like this

I wrote "He is nothing if not a constant schemer -- he is permanently on the offensive, and the only way to deal with someone like that is to frankly stay on the offensive against him."
and
"I'm still hearing way too much of the Republicans' propensity to twist themselves into pretzels of lies and partisan justifications to blame everything on Democrats, straw men, made up villains"

Listening to the impeachment hearings today, I feel I need to clarify the statement that it's necessary to stay on the "offensive" with this man. It's always an assumption on the left that it's nonviolent, but Republicans on the Congressional floor today are trying, as usual, to blame others for what they are guilty of, including to accuse "the left" of the insurrection, so I must clarify.

I mean stay relentlessly on the offensive with truth against his lies (not just his but among followers, and honing the arguments and actions to help the truth, facts, honor, and truth-telling prevail), with light and air, with legal action to meet legal action, with accountability rather than humoring and looking the other way, with constant vigilance against the false rightwing memes and misinformation that currently form the basis of most rightwing support and incitement (when Republicans talk about why they are supporting the potus and party today, I keep hearing only cultivated rightwing lies and exaggerations with no basis in fact) -- those lies are being repeated by Republicans on the floor of the Congress today, rightwing media (which spreads the majority of political misinformation), and they get repeated in the media when those on the right are interviewed, etc.

Democrats used to make the cardinal mistake of making an argument without telling the conclusion plainly. Now they're making the mistake of only summarizing and focusing on the issue at hand (which they should do) but not answering the lies of the right and assuming it only amplifies them. [Portion removed for excessive length.]


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:13 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:13 pm
12 people like this

[Post removed; please post links to authoritative source(s).]


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:25 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:25 pm
34 people like this

@citizen, right you are about the GOP always blaming /smearing others when their main campaign against Biden was that he's a "far-left radical."

Boebert should be charged with willful endangerment and sedition. Now she's whining about having to go through metal detectors since she carries a gun everywhere.

At least the House has started fining the members who refuse to mask up. They've already willfully infected 4 Congresspeople. They should also be charged with willful endangerment.


Aletheia
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:46 pm
Aletheia, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:46 pm
23 people like this

And where were the task forces during the BLM riots? The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:08 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:08 pm
79 people like this

If you're referring to the BLM protests in DC, check out the photos of the riot squads all over the Capitol and lined up on the Capitol steps in riot gear, the same squads that were missing on 1/6.

Is it "hypocrisy" or something else to blame "antifa" for everything when there is NO organized anti-fascist group as per the FBI etc. like the GOP keeps mentioning to avoid any and all responsibility for their own actions?


Aletheia
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:45 pm
Aletheia, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:45 pm
10 people like this

Online Name, yes, I am referring to the DC protests [portion removed.] Do you know why there were not riot squads for the 1/6 rally? Because the rallies did not have a history of trying to burn cities to the ground. [Portion removed.]


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:53 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 1:53 pm
55 people like this

Are you reading/watching all the reports questioning where the DC cops were this time when they had ample warning that violence would occur complete with the POTUS saying, "It'll be wild."

Do you support smearing excrement over the Capitol and/or bringing weapons, zip ties, Molotov cocktails etc. to into the Capitol? Do you support bashing /killing cops with fire extinguishers?

Are you following all the businesses and business leaders who've now cut ties to Trump because he indisputably incited this insurrection because he refused to accept the election results?


Aletheia
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Aletheia, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:01 pm
8 people like this

Online, listen, if they called off every major sporting event because of every bomb threat called in not a single game would be played. The rallies did not have a history of being violent so the police used their best judgement and made a reasonable decision (IMO). In regards to excrement, etc., do you really want to debate about the amount of destruction done by BLM/Antifa vs the rally? Please. Listen, no way am I condoning what happened. Absolutely not. I am just pointing out the double standard being applied here.


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:21 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:21 pm
57 people like this

[Portion removed.] The extreme right has invented a biggie group to excuse their sedition: Antifa, a loose group of non violent anti fascist patriots that we should all admire and support.

The only real threat to the USA is right wing domestic terrorism, which has a very welcoming home in the GOP, and we are finding out now on a daily basis that a GOP legislators cooperated with the insurgents and assisted them in their attempt to bring down the government. [Portion removed.]


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jan 13, 2021 at 3:22 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 3:22 pm
12 people like this

The far-left and the far-right are equally pathetic. This isn't breaking news. Is one of the two sides given a free pass?


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 13, 2021 at 4:18 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 4:18 pm
87 people like this

There is no far left in the USA, there's hardly left at all. What is considered left in the US would be center right in Europe. Peaceful demonstrations to protest the murder by police of black unarmed civilians, demonstrations who are brutalized by Trump goons and by lTrump loving law enforcement can't be compared tin any sane universe to right wing terorists, right wing sedition and an insurgency incited by the US president aimed to bring down a branch oof the government. Denial of the election results after they had been constituionally rectified by all 50 states its by itself an act of sedition, so trump and every GOP elected official who keep spewing this ridiculous lie and fantasy should also be charged with sedition.


citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm
citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm
76 people like this

Listening to the Congress today, you would have no idea that the vast majority of political violence leading to injury and death in this country has been rightwing.

Most Republican statements keep over and over again trying to equate any actions but cowering in sycophancy to this potus as inciting violence from the left. They keep invoking dog whistles like the idea that the vastly, almost surprisingly peaceful BLM protests have wrought the kind of exaggerated and false violence that Fox News falsely portrayed for political advantage for months and months. That lie is going unanswered in Congress right now. It's not harmless, because those lies are the foundation upon which the right seems to think they are justified in supporting more lies rather than uniting for our nation. Most dangerous are their false beliefs about the economy and intent of "the left."
[Portion removed for excessive length.]

Listening to the hearings today, I'm hearing too many Republicans engaged in lying, blaming others, false victimhood with false charges about why, self-serving naval gazing based on lies, and especially false equivalencies -- over and over, they have been making false claims about Democrats, including falsely equating Democrats' standing up to Trump and Republican lies with truth and engagement as in any way equivalent to the rightwing lying and blaming "the left" on everything (including what happened last Wednesday), and exaggerating the largely peaceful protests of BLM (which involved no similar lying and incitement to racist violence as has happened on the right). I've heard nothing about the rightwing intimidating rallies in states with guns, and plots to kill everyone including the governor in the state house in Michigan.
[Portion removed due to excessive length.]

I'm listening to a Republican now once again equating peaceful BLM protests with what happened Jan 6 to try to overturn the election -- saying "cities were burned" (saying that the Capitol wasn't burned, as if violent insurrection was somehow less bad).

Most of all, I hear Republicans falsely characterizing the Democratic lawmakers, Democratic voting Americans ("you hate him for putting America first and other gross lies and venal mischaracterizations") and falsely blaming, accusing and attacking political opponents, over and over again, and from the left, I have heard ZERO Democrats attacking Republicans with false rhetoric. Democrats keep focusing on the argument and issue at hand, taking the high road. I don't want to see them stooping to the shameful misleading false machinations of the Right I am hearing on the floor today, but I do think Democrats cannot unite our nation if they keep ignoring things like the repeated false equating of the potus' persistent attempts to overturn the election and divide Americans with largely peaceful protest.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jan 13, 2021 at 5:10 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 5:10 pm
15 people like this

I wouldn't call looting and burning down the entire country (to the tune of billions of dollars -- we're all paying for that) "peaceful protesting."

BLM, Antifa, etc. are the far-left. This thread is full of the left attacking the right.


citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2021 at 10:48 pm
citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 10:48 pm
72 people like this

@Jennifer,
You have been lied to about that, just like you were about the election results.

Here's a mainstream report that studied BLM protests:
Web Link

They were overwhelmingly peaceful, and where they included any damage to property, a large percentage included tearing down civil war monuments that were erected in the 1920's by white supremacists (not in the aftermath of the civil war). As we know, some of the worst violence at BLM protests came because of white supremacists agitating. Even the security guard killed in Oakland, widely blamed in rightwing media by antifa, turned out to have been Boogaloo, a rightwing-inspired militia group.

Fox ran and reran old footage to make it look like there was more violence than there actually was.
Web Link

Although the protests did cause some costly damage in places like Chicago and Portland, the scale has been exaggerated such as in your post
Web Link

We're all paying a LOT more because of a completely incompetently run government and absent federal response to the Covid epidemic, while the potus stirred up division for his own power ambitions. Many nations like South Korea, with 50 million people (about 1/6th the population of the US) suffered only hundreds of deaths where we have suffered nearly 400,000, and that's probably an undercount. We had 100 times the number of deaths per capita. Countries that had good national strategies had not only far fewer deaths, they had almost no recession relative to us. That cost US businesses way, way more.

Telling people not to wear masks and politicizing the epidemic and public health directly resulted in the increased spread, and that in turn has led to more opportunities for mutations the more people who are infected. That poses yet more danger to us and the world as we try to get this under control.

Lastly, criticism that is due based on facts is not the same as "attacking" -- I'm really tired of the right attacking any due and necessary criticism of the objectively bad corruption, deadly incompetence, and unprecedented lying and misinformation from this administration. So sad when Republicans used to at least say they were for personal responsibility.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:32 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:32 am
98 people like this

I wouldn't call looting and burning down the entire country (to the tune of billions of dollars -- we're all paying for that) "peaceful protesting."

Which entire country was that? I must have missed it.

@citizen, thanks for those links. Also remember that Fox is banned in Canada because it's illegal for media to lie there. Here in the US, they've sued for the right to lie. In fact, Fox's own lawyers defended Tucker Carlson on the grounds that no reasonable person should believe him. (From NPR, National Public Radio), September 2020)

"You Literally Can't Believe The Facts Tucker Carlson Tells You. So Say Fox's Lawyers" Web Link

"Now comes the claim that you can't expect to literally believe the words that come out of Carlson's mouth. And that assertion is not coming from Carlson's critics. It's being made by a federal judge in the Southern District of New York and by Fox News's own lawyers in defending Carlson against accusations of slander. It worked, by the way.

Just read U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil's opinion, leaning heavily on the arguments of Fox's lawyers: The "'general tenor' of the show should then inform a viewer that [Carlson] is not 'stating actual facts' about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in 'exaggeration' and 'non-literal commentary.' "

Also note Fox just gave him more air time!! So expect the lies / "alternate facts" to grow, along with the horrible divisions in this country. Sadly hate sells and is very profitable when critical thinking skills aren't taught and a citizenry isn't taught to identify propaganda.


Corey Levens
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jan 15, 2021 at 8:52 pm
Corey Levens, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2021 at 8:52 pm
94 people like this

The task force is, unfortunately, necessary and appropriate. My only question, considering how these right wing gangs have infiltrated police forces throughout the country and the innumerable instances where we see members of our police forces showing sympathy and agreement with these gangs, is who is making sure that the members of the task force are not members of any right wing gang?


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:41 am
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Jan 19, 2021 at 10:41 am
20 people like this

with January 6th rapidly approaching, it is time for a national 'reset' towards how we view our fellow Americans citizens and all people of color.

the news reported today that two members of the National Guard assigned to protect the Capitol on Inauguration Day were relieved of their duties upon further vetting and investigation into their confirmed ties with right-wing extremists.

Michele Norris, a black columnist for the Washington Post described the January 6th events as a further example of the racial divide in America. Morris recalled images from the BLM protests last summer with the National Guard personnel in full riot gear along with a hail of rubber bullets.

given the overall differences in law enforcement response on January 6th, Norris wrote, "The reasonable conclusion is that white lives matter more."

imagine what might have transpired had the majority of the insurrectionists in DC been people of color.


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:03 am
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:03 am
Like this comment

typo/correction:"with January 6th rapidly approaching," > January 20th.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:14 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 19, 2021 at 11:14 am
38 people like this

Even Mitch McConnell came out today accusing POTUS of inciting the violent insurrection and some of those arrested were shocked and defending themselves on the grounds that they were just doing what Trump ordered.

The FBI has said that 93% of the violence in this country is by the right.

Dominion, the voting machine company, is suing people and media companies for falsely claiming the election was stolen and forcing them to retract their lies if they're in the media. Unfortunately, those retractions won't convince all those who've heard those repeated lies.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.