All posts by Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting. He worked as a strategic analyst in the Canadian intelligence community for over 30 years. He specializes in radicalization and homegrown Al Qaeda/Islamic State/Islamist-inspired extremism. He has spoken to audiences about terrorism around the world. Email: borealisrisk@gmail.com

An intelligent look at terrorism – What now? Road terrorists?

Welcome to the very first episode of the podcast 'An intelligent look at terrorism'.

A bold prediction for 2019: more terrorism!

Regardless of my skepticism, here is my shot at predicting what will transpire in 2019.

‘Counter’ terrorism policies that breed more terrorism are not smart

A few recently surfaced stories have reminded me that on occasion the decisions made by those who should know better are really dumb.

How the decision to go to war made the ‘War on Terrorism’ worse

War is the equivalent of pouring gas on an open fire: when was the last time you saw a firefighter do that?

What the puck? Can a piece of vulcanised rubber stop an active shooter?

Is a hockey puck REALLY an effective weapon against a guy with a gun?

How science and counter terrorism have their parallels

The many parallels with science and our efforts to understand and counter terrorism.

Is redirecting people away from online violent content a moonshot?

Spies and cops need to see who is reading and reacting to violent material online to help them understand the extremist environment and build possible court cases.

No, mental health does not explain away terrorism

Here we go again. Another terrorist attack, this time in Melbourne, Australia, another chorus of ‘he was mentally ill’ and, I guess, not responsible.

When to call an act of mass violence terrorism?

To repeat: if the violence is motivated by ideology, it should be labelled terrorism (I realize that defining ‘ideology’ is a challenge as well).

Why intelligence services need access to your phone

We, as a society, have to decide what the balance is between giving our security intelligence and law enforcement agencies the tools they need and safeguarding the privacy and immunity from eavesdropping we crave.

Terrorists are not lonely, even in wolf form, and neither are counter terrorism practitioners

Is there a clash of opinion between counter terrorism practitioners and academics about the sharing of classified information?

How to determine the terrorist threat levels

Why terrorism threat levels rise in the days, weeks and months before an attack, not after. The risk level is determined by what we know, not what has just taken place. And what we know is usually determined in large part by intelligence.

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