Author

Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski has 12 articles published.

Phil Gurski
Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. (www.borealisthreatandrisk.com) and Programme Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) from 2001-2015, specializing in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation. From 1983 to 2001 he was employed as a senior multilingual analyst at Communications Security Establishment (CSE – Canada’s signals intelligence agency), specialising in the Middle East. He also served as senior special advisor in the National Security Directorate at Public Safety Canada from 2013, focusing on community outreach and training on radicalisation to violence, until his retirement from the civil service in May 2015, and as consultant for the Ontario Provincial Police’s Anti-Terrorism Section (PATS) from May to October 2015. He was the Director of Security and Intelligence at the SecDev Group from June 2018 to July 2019. Mr. Gurski has presented on violent Islamist-inspired and other forms of terrorism and radicalisation across Canada and around the world. He is the author of “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West” (Rowman and Littlefield 2015) “Western Foreign Fighters: the threat to homeland and international security” (Rowman and Littlefield 2017), The Lesser Jihads: taking the Islamist fight to the world (Rowman and Littlefield 2017), An end to the ‘war on terrorism ’ and When religion kills: how extremist justify violence through faith (Lynne Rienner 2019). He regularly blogs and podcasts (An Intelligent Look at Terrorism – available on his Web site), and tweets (@borealissaves) on terrorism. He is an associate fellow at the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT) in the Netherlands, a digital fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University, a member of the board at the National Capital Branch of the CIC (Canadian International Council) and an affiliate of the Canadian network for research on Terrorism Security and Society (TSAS). Mr. Gurski is a regular commentator on terrorism and radicalisation for a wide variety of Canadian and international media. He writes at www.borealisthreatandrisk.com.

PERSPECTIVE: Kent State 50 Years Later: Was Terrorism Involved?

What else were these acts of vandalism/destruction but political in nature? Those who ‘torched’ the ROTC building were definitely making a political statement, one that was most obviously anti-war.

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PERSPECTIVE: Did Germany Drop the Ball on Right-Wing Extremism?

We would not have had the evil of Nazism without Germany. And while that hateful ideology was ‘defeated’ in 1945 it has alas not disappeared totally.

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How Worried Should We Be About a Bioterrorism Attack?

Like low-level terrorism that encompasses knives and vehicles, those with intentions to launch bioterrorism or chemical weapons attacks often end up at the lower-level end of the spectrum.

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PERSPECTIVE: The Forecast for Israel Is Terrorism, Terrorism and More Terrorism

All these actions aimed at thwarting Israel’s enemies from hitting it must be carefully planned and judiciously executed. Mistakes can have serious repercussions and counterproductively make matters worse.

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PERSPECTIVE: What Responsibility Do World Leaders Have to Call Out Terrorism in Allied Countries?

India is, of course, not an outlier in this regard. China’s genocide against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province and a very similar campaign by the government of Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims are also attracting some – but not enough – condemnation.

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PERSPECTIVE: W(h)ither the U.S. Intelligence Community?

ODNI appointment is political partisanship; what is more damaging is the effect on morale within the USIC.

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Taliban ‘Peace’ Talks: Is It Ever OK to Negotiate with Terrorists?

Recent days, weeks and months have demonstrated that the Taliban continue to target government forces, law enforcement agencies, civilians and even children in schools. What evidence is there that any of this will change?

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PERSPECTIVE: Taking Away Citizenship as a Counterterrorism Tool Is Fraught with Challenges

The UK handling of Ms. Begum beggars disbelief as she is the citizen of one and only one country. The U.S. strategy in the case of Faris suggests that anyone who does anything illegal at any point in their life is at risk of having their citizenship clawed back.

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PERSPECTIVE: Does Restricting Immigration Really Keep Us Safe from Terrorism?

The threat from terrorism coming to our shores has been vastly over-exaggerated and background checks already work well.

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PERSPECTIVE: Modi’s Indian Government Is Creating the Conditions for More Terrorism

India has both the right and the duty to defend itself. But not all of its terrorism comes from Pakistan or is Islamist.

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Nigeria’s Terrorism Challenge: It Ain’t Over Yet

As if all this was not dire enough, Boko Haram and ISWAP have also been carrying out attacks in neighboring countries (Chad, Cameroon and Benin). According to Amnesty International, 276 Cameroonians were killed in terrorist attacks in 2019.

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PERSPECTIVE: National Security Priorities for the Canadian Government, from ISIS Fighters to Guns

If necessary, Canada could help set up international courts to try these terrorists in situ. The one exception lies in the situation for children of terrorists: they should be returned immediately and given medical and psychological attention.

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