A Riveting ISIS Story, Told in a Times Podcast, Falls Apart

Now, Mr. Chaudhry’s public declarations have put him in authorized jeopardy. In September, the Canadian authorities charged Mr. Chaudhry with perpetrating a terrorist hoax, a felony cost that would convey as much as 5 years in jail if he’s convicted.

Monitoring the 1000’s of fighters who’ve traveled from the world over to battle with the Islamic State is a sprawling, typically murky, endeavor. Earlier than “Caliphate” aired, two American officers advised The Instances that Mr. Chaudhry had, the truth is, joined ISIS and crossed into Syria. And a few of the individuals who know and have endorsed Mr. Chaudhry say they’ve little question that he holds extremist, jihadist views.

However Canadian legislation enforcement officers, who carried out an nearly four-year investigation into Mr. Chaudhry, say their examination of his journey and monetary information, social media posts, statements to the police and different intelligence make them assured that he didn’t enter Syria or be a part of ISIS, a lot much less commit the grievous crimes he described.

American officers interviewed for this text assist the conclusion that Mr. Chaudhry, who turns 26 on Saturday, was by no means a terrorist risk. It’s tough to say with absolute certainty that he by no means entered Syria, they warn.

However even when he did, they contend, it could have been for a quick interval — through which he claimed to have joined ISIS, obtained non secular and weapons coaching, gone on patrols, meted out punishment, carried out executions and took part in secret discussions about plotting high-profile assaults in opposition to the West.

“Hoaxes can generate worry inside our communities and create the phantasm there’s a potential risk to Canadians, whereas we’ve got decided in any other case,” Superintendent Christopher deGale, the top of the nationwide safety crew that carried out the investigation, mentioned in a statement about the case.

The “Caliphate” sequence raised questions on a few of Mr. Chaudhry’s assertions and devoted an episode of the podcast to them. After the Canadians charged Mr. Chaudhry with a hoax, The Instances examined his case once more, taking a contemporary have a look at social media posts, images, journey information, tutorial transcripts and different potential proof that would make clear his competition that he had joined, and killed for, ISIS in Syria.

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