Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Program Director for the National Security program 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 , When Religion Kills: How Extremist Justify Violence Through Faith (Lynne Rienner 2019) and The Peaceable Kingdom? A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present (self-published: 2021). He regularly blogs and podcasts (Canadian Intelligence Eh!), and tweets (@borealissaves) on terrorism and intelligence matters.
He is an associate fellow at the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT) in the Netherlands and a digital fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University.
Mr. Gurski is a regular commentator on terrorism and intelligence for a wide variety of Canadian and international media. He writes at www.borealisthreatandrisk.com.
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Read the latest publications by Phil Gurski:
Is the UK getting ‘Prevent’ wrong?
As governments struggle to identify and devote resources to countering terrorism, in the best-case scenario at the earliest juncture, are we getting our priorities wrong?
What can we learn from the German experience on repatriating ISIS terrorists?
Episode 171: What to do with Western ISIS ‘foreign fighters’? So many countries are struggling with what to do with their citizens who thought joining ISIS was a good idea. While many died over in Iraq and Syria many survived and want to come home. Not surprisingly, what policy is best to follow is not…
What ‘colour’ are foreign fighters in Ukraine?
The war in Ukraine has led to a new wave of ‘foreign fighters’. Who are these people and what is their agenda?