Burlington, Ont., man faces terrorism hoax charge after claiming to be ISIS member
A 25-year-old Burlington, Ont., man who publicly discussed his role in ISIS and execution-style killings is now facing charges for allegedly lying about all of it.
After a lengthy investigation the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's O Division Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (OINSET) arrested him on Friday and charged him with hoax-terrorist activity.
As early as 2016, Shehroze Chaudhry posted on social media about his involvement with ISIS. When Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) saw the online posts, it released a bulletin about Chaudhry.
When CBC News reported on the story, his real name was concealed to protect his identity.
In news reports, he was referred to by what he said was his jihadi nom de guerre Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi (Abu Huzaifa the Canadian).
He initially told CBC News he joined ISIS in 2014 as an enforcer in the Syrian city of Manbij.
He recalled witnessing violence on a scale he could never have imagined, including regular public lashings, beheadings and crucifixions. He said he suffered from nightmares and would wake up in a cold sweat at least three times a week.
Chaudhry also gave detailed accounts of shooting blindfolded, tied-up civilians in the back of the head when speaking on the New York Times podcast Caliphate.
His interviews with the media led conservatives to grill then public safety minister Ralph Goodale about whether the federal government was doing enough to protect Canadians from ISIS fighters who have returned to Canada.
But all of Chaudhry's statements about being an ISIS enforcer, the RCMP says, were lies.
Superintendent Christopher deGale, the officer in charge of OINSET explained the magnitude of a hoax.
"Hoaxes can generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians while we have determined otherwise," he said.
"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."
The RCMP said Canada Border Services Agency, Halton Regional Police Service, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada were all involved in the investigation.
Chaudhry will appear in a Brampton, Ont., court on the morning of Nov. 16.
Donald H said:Sounds like he would be best suited to getting help in a mental hospital. It will be disappointing if this wannabe kid is handled any other way.
Brihard said:Stunts like what he pulled are very burdensome to the national security investigators who have to manage a significant file load in their efforts to keep Canadians safe. If someone wants to be an idiot and impose a wasteful burden on them by making false claims, there are consequences for that choice.
Interesting to see you jumping in on this topic, normally this thread involves discussions of 'Walter Mitty' types - folks who build up a public persona that doesn't match their actual background, experience, or place in life.
These people's pretending is bothersome, but what is worse is those who have gained benefit from their story-telling that takes resources away from those veterans who are genuinely in need.
There's a variety of examples in pages past, simple refer back to fakers who have gotten service dogs, or public speaking gigs that ends up discrediting the real work, real service, and factual events/accounts that real veterans have lived through.
Out of related curiousity, what is your background in the CAF? I haven't seen you speak to that very much?
Donald H said:I had a short conversation with mariomike on just that topic NS. If you would like more information on how that went then you should ask him.
Mike Bobbitt said:Public Profiles
I strongly encourage you to fill out all the sections of your public profile that you're comfortable with. We respect your privacy and won't force you to fill out your profile if you don't want to. Bear in mind though, that the amount of identifiable info in your profile will increase your general credibility here. Those with empty profiles are much harder to verify and will have to put a lot more effort into building a credible presence here.
Donald H said:So I am basically in agreement with that part of what you said.
But what will he be charged with? Mischief? And then what punishment will be meted out?
It still sounds to me that the kid is a bomb getting ready to go off and the best thing to do with him is to defuse him with mental help. We have to keep in mind that he isn't a terrorist, he just likes the idea of being one.
Do you think there's an argument open to his lawyer on the basis of free speech. I think it might be tested that way but I'm not suggesting I could be supportive of him succeeding that way.
Brihard said:S. 83.231 Criminal Code covers hoax terrorism activity. While there is a high bar set to make out the elements of the offense, the consent of the Attorney General is required to being any terrorism offense proceeding. That means prior to the arrest and charges being sworn, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada was consulted and got the necessary approval- so they clearly think the necessary elements are present. That offense carries a five year maximum.
I don't have a list of charges - couldn't find them from a quick google - but it sounds like there are other offences charged. Any terrorism investigation leading to charges gets a ton of scrutiny, so they likely feel they have a solid case. And INSET has some really sharp minds working for it. I don't know if charges have ever been laid under this section before, it'll be interesting.
Federal prison - the result of any sentence of 2 years or more - reputedly has better access to mental health care than provincial jail. Quite frankly, federal inmates have better access to mental health care than most of the Canadian population. Just might be the right place for him.
Donald H said:I don't even know if he's religion motivated or not but sounds pretty dumb to blow his cover with pretending.
Haggis said:Soldiers and wanna be soldiers ("I would've joined, but <insert excuse here>....") of all nations, religions and genders have been embellishing their exploits in order to get laid for millennia. Why should this dope be any different?
NavyShooter said:DonaldH, I'm curious, which translation program are you using? It's been a VERY long time since I've seen someone use the word "lout" in common conversation. Alternatively, which old english prep-school did you attend?
Hamish Seggie said:Actually I used the word "lout" the other day to describe a "guest" of our jail as a "big stupid lout" albeit a dangerous one.