The Investigative Project on Terrorism
Zahra Billoo may be one of the more refreshing new faces among Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) officials.
Rather than following her organization’s habit of engaging in doublespeak, she speaks in plain, and often hyperbolic and conspiracy-minded language. For that, she is the subject of the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s latest profile.
Billoo, executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco office, recently describing herself on Twitter as an “American, Pakistani, litigious, feminist, hippie, anarchist, outspoken, rebellious, socially conscious Muslimah.”
She’s a prolific poster on Twitter, appearing to revel in being provocative:
“What do Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi all have in common? They were funded by the US,” she wrote in June. She didn’t mention that her bosses at CAIR solicited money from Gaddafi in 2009.
Another June Twitter posts also criticized U.S. troops, claiming they are terrorists. “And to be clear, I would argue that many of our troops are engaged in terrorism,” she wrote.
As an organization, CAIR claims to be a friend to law enforcement, but its workshops often sow the seeds of paranoia, and the group reflexively condemns most counter-terrorism prosecutions. Billoo skips the niceties, publishing a flyer on her chapter’s website advising Muslims to “build a wall of resistance” by not talking to the FBI.
When arrests are made with the help of an informant, she jumps to cast doubt on the case’s validity.
When a Portland Muslim was arrested after he tried to detonate what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony with children present, Billoo told a local television the whole thing may have been a publicity stunt. “The question is, are we looking to stop radicalization and stop extremism before it becomes a problem or do we want a sensational story?” Billoo asked. “And I’d really argue here that the FBI was looking for a sensational story.”