TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s national police force has arrested and charged a Canadian man with falsely claiming to have committed terrorist acts.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Friday that the criminal charge against Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, stems from numerous media interviews in which he described travelling to Syria in 2016 to join the extremist Islamic State movement and committing acts of extremism.
Chaudhry is charged with a criminal code offense of perpetrating a hoax related to terrorist activity. He is to appear in court on Nov. 16.
The RCMP said the Burlington, Ontario, man’s interviews were published in multiple media outlets, aired on podcasts and featured in a television documentary, raising public safety concerns.
RCMP Supt. Christopher deGale said hoaxes can generate fear by creating the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians.
“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,″ said deGale, commander of an RCMP security enforcement team.
The RCMP said it collaborated with several other agencies during the course of the investigation.