His confession about being an ISIS executioner enraged Canadians. Now police say he made it up

Last week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged Chaudhry, a Toronto-area man, with “Hoax-Terrorist activity” in relation to interviews that have been printed by “multiple media outlets,” in line with a police information launch.

The RCMP didn’t present additional particulars about their allegations, noting solely within the information launch that Chaudhry “claimed he travelled to Syria in 2016 to join the terrorist group ISIS and committed acts of terrorism.”

Chaudhry declined to remark to CNN.

“Hoaxes can generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians, while we have determined otherwise. As a result, the RCMP takes these allegations very seriously, particularly when individuals, by their actions, cause the police to enter into investigations in which human and financial resources are invested and diverted from other ongoing priorities,” mentioned Superintendent Christopher deGale, of the RCMP’s Ontario Division of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

RCMP didn’t define what investigators knew about Chaudhry’s journeys to Syria or if they might affirm that he had ever traveled there. Police additionally didn’t disclose whether or not they consider Chaudhry fabricated your complete story about being an ISIS member or whether or not it was particular particulars that Chaudhry disclosed in media interviews that constituted the “hoax.”

Leaving Canada to take part within the actions of a terrorist group is an indictable offence with a most sentence of 10 years.

In a collection of media interviews, most notably with the award-winning New York Times 2018 podcast “Caliphate,” Chaudhry — portrayed below the title Abu Huzayfah in interviews — talked in graphic phrases about ISIS killings and violence and pledged allegiance to the ISIS trigger of making an Islamic caliphate.

After the debut of “Caliphate,” Chaudhry additionally spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, however gave completely different particulars about his degree of involvement with ISIS, in line with CBC.

In an announcement to CNN, the RCMP says it “can confirm that Shehroze Chaudhry is the same person as Abu Huzayfah from the New York Times podcast Caliphate.

“The info aired within the Caliphate Podcast collection was investigated, as have been different avenues of knowledge obtainable to us, with the results of our investigation being the premise for the cost laid in opposition to Mr. Chaudhry,” says Sgt. Lucie Lapointe.

Bombshell charges

You could still hear the shock in Amarnath Amarasingam’s voice as he discussed the bombshell charges against Chaudhry, a man he says he has spoken to almost every week for nearly 4 years for research and community reintegration efforts.

“From the whole lot we have talked about I’m somewhat blown away by the cost so I’m ready to see what the RCMP says about the case and see if it survives in court docket by some means,” said Amarasingam, an assistant professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in an interview with CNN.

In his work as a researcher and lecturer in extremist ideology, Amarasingam says he has spoken to dozens of ISIS fighters and while he says he cannot rule out that Chaudhry lied, he is stunned at the allegations that he faked the whole story.

“He was extremely detailed, extremely believable, after which the emotional facet of it added to it. When somebody is telling you a narrative, whenever you’re describing a homicide that you simply dedicated or that you simply noticed, if you have not skilled something like that it’s actually arduous,” said Amarasingam, adding that he spoke to Chaudhry in the last few days but did not discuss the charges against him.

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, VP for Communications Danielle Rhoades Ha said the New York Times was reviewing the way it presented Huzayfah in the series.

“While the uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story was explored instantly in episodes of Caliphate that featured him, his arrest and the allegations surrounding it have raised new and essential questions about him and his motivations. We’re endeavor a contemporary examination of his historical past and the best way we offered him in our collection. We may have extra to say once we full that effort.”

In an earlier statement, the Times said uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story was “central to each episode of Caliphate that featured him.”

“Huzayfah’s account was checked in opposition to a number of different sources and paperwork — together with his household, his lecturers in Pakistan, flight data, college transcripts, passports, a number of American intelligence officers, an interview with one other former ISIS member, geolocation of photos and extra. The issues being raised now are issues that our workforce examined within the podcast,” Rhoades Ha said.

In defending its airing of “Caliphate,” the New York Times sad the series was “accountable journalism that helped listeners perceive the ability and pull of extremism.”

Chaudhry publicly denied being a assassin in subsequent interviews. In a May 2018 CBC interview, he mentioned that when he spoke to the New York Times he was “being infantile.” He added in the CBC interview: “I used to be describing what I noticed and mainly, I used to be shut sufficient to assume it was me.”
New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi interviewed Chaudhry for “Caliphate.” She told the CBC in 2018 that she suspected Chaudhry changed his story when he realized he was under investigation in Canada. Callimachi added that as the publication date approached he threatened to say he “made it all up” if they refused to pull the story.

When CNN reached out to Callimachi for comment, she referred us to the New York Times statement.

In that statement, the news organization also pointed out that when it discovered that Chaudhry had “misled them about some particulars,” it then aired Chapter 6 of the series which the New York Times says documented the process to uncover his inconsistencies.

Concerns in Canada

But Chaudhry’s claims sparked concern in Canada and opposition leaders demanded action from the Trudeau authorities.

In a parliamentary session shortly after “Caliphate” debuted, Canada’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale responded, “I’m charged with the accountability of conserving Canadians protected,” adding, “Discussing operational issues on the ground of the House of Commons is precisely the alternative of conserving Canadians protected.”

Conservative politician Candice Bergen shot back: “Canadians deserve extra solutions from this authorities. Why aren’t they doing one thing about this despicable animal?” Bergen said.

The RCMP has said little on what role Chaudhry’s media interviews played in its “intensive” investigation, asserting only that they raised “public security issues amongst Canadians.”

Chaudhry is scheduled to appear in court in mid-November and the charge, if proven, carries a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.

Amarasingam says Chaudhry has been trying to move on with his life and that he was enrolled in university full time and also has a job. He says when the New York Times podcast was released, Chaudhry did seem uncomfortable that his interview was central to many episodes of the podcast.

“For the podcast he burst into tears when speaking about the killing, and so it would require a sure degree of psychological misery, psychological well being points to arouse the sort of feelings in your self when speaking about an completely made up story,” mentioned Amarasingam.

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