OTTAWA – A Canadian man admitted in court on Friday that he made up stories of working as an Islamic State fighter and executioner in Syria. In return, Canadian authorities withdrew criminal charges against him for committing a fraud involving the threat of terrorism.
According to an agreed statement of truth between the prosecutor and the defense, the man named Shehroz Chowdhury spread false stories of his life as a terrorist in Syria in 2016. He then repeated them in several media outlets, including The New York Times, which further enhanced his story, the statement said.
The statement said, Mr. Chowdhury, who is now 2 years old, came to the media to express his regret and “wanted to turn his life around after finishing school”.
Prosecutors agreed to withdraw the complaint because Mr. Chowdhury’s stories were “wrong because of immaturity – not evil intentions and certainly not criminal intentions,” his lawyer, Nader R. Hassan, wrote in an email.
However, Mr. Chowdhury had to post a so-called peace bond in exchange for 10,000 10,000, which would be confiscated if the terms of the agreement were violated. The prosecutor was not immediately available for comment.
In the name of Abu Huzaifa, Mr. Chowdhury, who lives in the Toronto suburbs of Burlington, Ontario, was a central figure in the Times’ 10-part podcast series “Caliphate.” The release of that series in 201 series, and Mr. Other reports, based on Chowdhury’s story, sparked a political firestorm in the Canadian Parliament between opposition parties that repeatedly attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, claiming that a terrorist assassin had been allowed to roam freely on suburban streets. Toronto.
But in a real sense, there was little if any risk to the public. The statement, presented at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on Friday, concludes: “Mr. Chowdhury never entered Syria and did not take part in ISIS operations anywhere in the world.
Last year, Mr Chowdhury was arrested in Canada on charges that he had fabricated a lie that terrified and threatened the public. Following his arrest, the Times re-examined the ‘Khilafah’ series and found “no evidence of misrepresentation by Mr. Chowdhury and the atrocities described in the” Khilafah “podcast.” The podcast didn’t last, the Times said.
Daniel Rhodes Ha, a spokesman for The Times, said a re-examination of the series found that “Times journalists were very confident in the verification move and dismissed Mr Chowdhury’s lack of evidence for the necessary aspects of his account.” “Since then, we have introduced new practices to prevent similar errors,” he said.
In 2019, “Khilafah” won a foreign press club award and a PBD award. The Overseas Press Club withdrew its award, and The Times returned the PBD. The Pulitzer Prize Board also revoked the podcast’s recognition as a finalist.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Mr. Chowdhury was interviewed in April 2011 – a year before the “Khilafah” podcast – based on information from his social media post. At the time, he told them he had created the story of becoming an ISIS fighter in Syria.
Despite being admitted to the police, he continued to portray himself as a former Islamic State fighter in media interviews and on social media until his arrest in September last year.
A factual statement presented in court on Friday said that a journalist from the Times, Rukmini Kalimachi, Mr. Chowdhury was pressured to twist his false narrative.
“Occasionally during the podcast, Mrs. Kalimachi explicitly encouraged Mr. Chowdhury to discuss violent acts,” the statement said. When Mr. Chowdhury expressed reluctance to do so, he replied, ‘You need to talk about murder.’ ‘
Mr. on false allegations of terrorists. Chowdhury’s trial was scheduled to begin in February. Prosecutors agreed to exclude them in exchange for his confession, as well as his agreement to make peace and abide by its terms.
Under the terms of the peace treaty, which is reserved for individuals who fear the authorities may carry out terrorist acts, Mr. Chowdhury will have to stay in Ontario next year and stay with his parents. He is prohibited from owning any weapon, he must continue counseling and report any change to his virtual or physical address to the police.
The truth statement said that although Mr. The story of Chowdhury’s involvement in the Islamic State execution may be untrue, “they provide a reasonable basis for the fear that Mr. Chowdhury may commit a terrorist crime.”
Mr Chaudhry Hassan, Mr Chaudhry Chowdhury’s lawyer, said his client “admitted that he made a mistake.”
Instagram posts started in 2016 – Mr. Made in Chowdhury’s name and posted with a recognizable picture of his face – said Mr. Chowdhury traveled to Syria in 2014 and was made part of the Islamic State’s security department, a group responsible for internal security, “for less than a year.”
“I was on the battlefield,” the posts said. “I support the brothers fighting on the ground.”
Although, all the time, Mr. Chowdhury was at his family’s home in Burlington or worked in a restaurant in neighboring Oakville, Ontario.
In November 2016, a group based in the Middle East Media Research Institute in Washington, D.C. The online claims of Chowdhury’s terrorist activities were compiled into a report that was distributed among Mrs. Kalimachi and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, among others.
That report called on the Counterterrorism Unit to open a terrorist investigation into members of various Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including Mountis.
Police also obtained a record of his travels after confirming the identity of Mr Chaudhry Chowdhury, matched with an online portrait opposite the photo on his driver’s license. In a meeting with the police on April 12, 201, Mr. Chowdhury confirmed that he wrote those posts.
According to a joint statement of information presented to the court, he readily admitted that he had never been to Syria.
The statement further said that shortly after receiving the report of the research group, Mrs. Kalimachi Mr. Chowdhury was emailed to ask if he would talk about his alleged experience inside the Islamic State. He soon traveled to Toronto to record the interview used for the “caliphate.”
Earl P., a professor of law at the University of Ottawa. Mendes said the decision to withdraw the charges stated that prosecutors and judges had concluded that Mr Chaudhry Chowdhury was not a danger but an “immature young man, who is basically a lot and trying to convince people that he is much more influential than he is.”
Defendant’s lawyer, Mr Hasan Hassan, said in an email that the case had been resolved “in the last two years.
“Despite the media attention around the world, the pressure of this case and a criminal complaint has increased,” he wrote, “Mr. Chowdhury is a graduate of the university and has been able to retain a full-time job.