The lawyer for an Ontario man accused of falsely claiming to have committed terrorist acts as a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant says his client is relieved after the charges were dropped.

Shehroze Chaudhry was arrested by the RCMP and charged in September 2020 with perpetrating a hoax related to terrorist activity after what the Mounties described as a lengthy investigation.

The charge stemmed from what police said at the time were numerous media interviews in which the 26-year-old from Burlington, Ontario claimed to have traveled to Syria in 2016 to join ISIL and to have committed acts of extremism.

Those interviews were published in various media outlets, broadcast on podcasts and featured in a television documentary, the RCMP alleged, all of which raised public safety concerns.

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But Chaudhry’s attorney, Nader Hasan, said in a statement Sunday that the charge has been dropped, adding that his client “maintains his innocence regarding this and any other criminal charges.”

“Sir. Chaudhry’s decision to sign a bond of peace and remain fit for 12 more months is an acknowledgment that he made mistakes,” Hasan added. “But those were mistakes stemming from immaturity, not sinister intent. And certainly not with criminal intent.

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“This resolution also takes into account the tremendous progress that Mr. Chaudhry has made in the past two years. Mr. Chaudhry has managed to graduate from college and keep his job. “

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