Canadian who faked joining ISIS as ‘Abu Huzayfah’ has charges dropped, lawyer says

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A lawyer for an Ontario man accused of falsely claiming to have committed terroristic acts as a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant says his client is relieved after the charges were withdrawn.

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Shehrooz Chaudhry was arrested by the RCMP and charged with a hoax in September 2020 relating to a terrorist activity described by Mounties as a lengthy investigation.

What police alleged at the time were multiple media interviews in which the 26-year-old from Burlington, Ont., claimed to have joined ISIL in 2016 and traveled to Syria to commit acts of extremism.

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Those interviews were published in several media outlets, broadcast on podcasts and featured in a television documentary, the RCMP alleged, all of which raised public safety concerns.

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But while Chowdhury’s lawyer Nadir Hassan said in a statement on Sunday that the charge had been dropped, his client had “retained his innocence with respect to this and any other criminal charge.”

“Mr. Chowdhury’s decision to enter Shanti Bandhan and remain on the terms for an additional 12 months is an acknowledgment that he has made mistakes,” Hassan said. “But those were mistakes that were born out of immaturity, Not with sinister intent. And certainly not with criminal intent.

“The proposal also takes into account the tremendous progress made by Mr. Chowdhary over the past two years. Mr. Chowdhary has managed to graduate from the university and maintain employment.”

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