Canadian Intelligence Eh!

Can risk assessment tools really prevent terrorism?

Can we predict who becomes a terrorist and why? That is what some risk assessment tools claim – are they accurate?

Canadian Intelligence Eh! – Episode 159: Who creates terrorism assessment tools and do they help?

In the wake of 9/11 there was an explosion – no pun intended! – of interest in terrorism: what it was, what caused it, and, most importantly, what could we do to stop it. One of the niche efforts was that of ‘risk assessment’, a field that predated the events of September 2001, but was adapted to identify people at risk of adopting violent ideologies and acting upon them. Several such tools were created – but do they actually work and are they useful for practitioners (i.e. security intelligence and law enforcement agencies upon which we rely to act BEFORE terrorist acts occur). Borealis looks at this issue with Emily Corner, a professor of criminology at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

Fishmongers’ Hall: Usman Khan unlawfully killed Cambridge graduates – BBC News

Multi-agency report reveals ‘opportunity was missed’ to help LynnMall terrorist Ahamed Samsudeen years before attack | Newshub

About my guest

Dr Emily Corner is a Senior Lecturer of Criminology at the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University. Emily’s research focuses on lone and group-based terrorism, radicalisation, mass murderers, fixated individuals, and grievance-fuelled violence. Dr Corner’s doctoral research focused on examining mental disorders and terrorist behaviour and won the Terrorism Research Initiatives Thesis award in 2016. Dr Corner has significant experience as a researcher on multiple international projects and Centres of Excellence funded by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the European Union, the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Department of Defence, the Australian Department of Home Affairs, and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Canadian Intelligence Eh

In a world of multiple voices and opinions it can be very hard to know where to turn.  One choice is to look to those who actually worked in counter-terrorism in the national security world. In these half-hour podcasts, 30-year Canadian intelligence veteran Phil Gurski is joined by a fascinating array of individuals with something meaningful to say about these issues as they provide insight into what they mean and what we need to do about them.

About Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Distinguished Fellow in National Security 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, specialising in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation. He is the author of six books on terrorism, including the most recent The Peaceable Kingdom: A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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