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New York Times says probe finds award-winning 'Caliphate' podcast failed to meet standards

The 2018 podcast featured a source whose accounts of Islamic State atrocities were not fully verified, found to be untrue.

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New York Times
New York Times
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Updated: December 18, 2020 - 3:15pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The New York Times said Friday that it erred in trusting a Canadian man whose inadequately-verified account of Islamic State atrocities was a central part of the news outlet’s podcast “Caliphate.” 

The Times began to reexamine the 2018 podcast after Canadian police arrested Shehroze Chaudhry, who used the alias Abu Huzayfah, for perpetrating a terrorist hoax. His account of participating in executions and witnessing other atrocities were included in the12-part podcast, according to the Associated Press. 

The series had won a Peabody Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“In the absence of firmer evidence, ‘Caliphate’ should have been substantially revised to exclude the material related to Mr. Chaudhry,” The Times said in an editor’s note on Friday. 

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