The Threat From Within

Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired radicalization and terrorism in the West

This textbook examines what drives Al Qaeda-inspired radicalization to violence, how to detect it, and how to confront it. The chapters discuss behaviors and ideologies that are observable and tangible in radicalized individuals or those on the path to violent radicalization. These behaviors are drawn from a variety of cases, such as planning acts of terrorism, traveling to join terrorist groups, or participating in violent jihadi conflict outside the country.

The main case study is Canada, and each chapter features many examples that range from Ted Kaczynski (the “Unabomber”) and Anders Breivik in Norway to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Damian Clairmont, a Canadian citizen who died fighting in Syria. The text begins by introducing general concepts, such as terrorism, extremism, and radicalization, before presenting contributing factors to those embracing political violence.

The Threat From Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West

2015 | Phil Gurski

Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired radicalization and terrorism in the West

A comprehensive list of behavioral indicators that someone is becoming a violent extremist is provided, followed by a look at what is being done to confront this threat as well as what could be done.

[…]Gurski draws on his more than three decades as a Canadian intelligence analyst to demystify the national security issue that is preoccupying governments everywhere”

The National Post

“The Threat From Within could not be timelier as the threat of home-grown Islamic terrorists continues to grow. It gives unprecedented insight in the world of Islamic radicals.  

The Washington Book Review

[…] an absolute must read for both experts in the subject and students alike”

Lorenzo Vidino

Director, Program on Extremism, George Washington University

About the author Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the Program Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI) and the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd.  He worked as a senior strategic analyst at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) from 2001-2015, specializing in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation. He is the author of five previous books on terrorism.

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