A 25-year-old man was arrested by Canadian police for allegedly lying about joining the Islamic State and carrying out executions on the group’s behalf. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation found that the man in fact had no links to the group whatsoever, The Guardian reported.
Shehroze Chaudhry, who went by the name Abu Huzayfah al-Kanadi, was charged under the country’s terrorism hoax laws on Friday. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
“The charge stems from numerous media interviews where the accused…claimed he traveled to Syria in 2016 to join the terrorist group ISIS and committed acts of terrorism,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement.
In 2016, Chaudhry claimed that he had travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State. On social media he alleged that he had joined the group’s religious police and had carried out at least two executions on the Islamic State’s behalf, The Guardian report stated.
He even repeated these claims in multiple media interviews over the years. However the police investigation found several discrepancies in his testimonials. In its statement, the RCMP stated that Chaudhry’s media interviews raised public safety concerns amongst Canadians.
“Hoaxes can generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians, while we have determined otherwise,” RCMP superintendent Christopher deGale said.
Chaudhry is slated to appear before an Ontario court on November 16. According to the report by The Guardian, the terrorism hoax law is rarely invoked in Canada.
According to a Reuters report, several Canadians have been charged with terrorism offences for joining the Islamic State over the years.