A Canadian’s Gripping Tale Withers Under Scrutiny

A Canadian’s Gripping Tale Withers Under Scrutiny

In springtime 2018, the federal government was under attack. The New York Times had actually launched a podcast, “Caliphate,” in which a guy from rural Toronto asserted to have actually taken a trip to Syria, signed up with the Islamic State and also devoted terrible implementations prior to going back to Canada.

“Canadians deserve more answers from this government,” stated Candice Bergen, the Conservative home leader at the time. “Why aren’t they doing something about this despicable animal that’s walking around the country?”

In late September, there was a reaction to that concern. A nationwide safety and security examinations device led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police billed Shehroze Chaudhry, the guy that passed the name Abu Huzayfah in the podcast, with performing a terrorism-related scam.

For a lot of the moment considering that the cost was laid, Mark Mazzetti, Graham Bowley, Malachy Browne and also I have actually been considering 2 wide and also associated concerns: Why are the authorities positive that Mr. Chaudhry is a fabulist and also what did Mr. Chaudhry in fact do?

[Read: A Riveting ISIS Story, Told in a Times Podcast, Falls Apart]

The brief variation of our write-up is that detectives, greatly making use of openly offered info like trip documents and also his social media sites messages, promptly figured out that Mr. Chaudhry did not get in Syria or sign up with ISIS, a lot less dedicate the calamitous criminal offenses he defines in the podcast. Our testimonial of whatever we might locate around Mr. Chaudhry, that stays in Burlington, Ontario, did not eliminate the opportunity that he mosted likely to Syria within a slim home window of a couple of weeks. But we additionally discovered a background of misstatements by him that casts adequate question on his insurance claims.

Ultimately, we might not locate any type of independent corroboration of Mr. Chaudhry’s engagement in the wrongs he declares to have actually devoted in the “Caliphate” podcast.

The team I belonged to checked out Mr. Chaudhry’s insurance claims, not what the podcast’s reporters made with them. That was the duty of the editors. In an editors’ note connected to the “Caliphate” episodes, they stated that the podcast was “not sufficiently rigorous” which its episodes including Mr. Chaudhry did not fulfill The Times’s requirements.

[Read: The Editors’ Note on ‘Caliphate’]

In a brand-new episode of “Caliphate,” Dean Baquet, the managing editor of The Times, supplies even more information concerning where points failed with “Caliphate” and also what’s being done to prevent a comparable failing in the future.

“When The New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we put it to a tremendous amount of scrutiny at the upper levels of the newsroom,” Mr. Baquet stated in the brand-new episode, including that was not the instance with the initial podcast. “And I think that I or somebody else should have provided that same kind of scrutiny, because it was a big, ambitious piece of journalism.”

Mr. Mazzetti additionally discusses our team’s coverage in the episode.

[Listen: An Examination of ‘Caliphate’]

Marc Tracy and also Katie Robertson, 2 coworkers that cover media for The Times, have actually additionally considered in on every one of this.

[Read: New York Times Says ‘Caliphate’ Podcast Fell Short of Standards ]

Mr. Chaudhry, that was launched on the problem he show up in court, stays in Burlington and also operates at his family members’s dining establishment in neighboring Oakville. His test is not anticipated to begin till well right into 2021.

On an individual note, I wish that the upcoming vacations will certainly offer a break for every person in these uncommon and also commonly demanding times.

A citizen of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was enlightened in Toronto, stays in Ottawa and also has actually reported concerning Canada for The New York Times for the previous 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.

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