Quick Hits

On a day to commemorate victims of terrorism Canada is failing badly

It is frightening that with all indicators blinking red on a probable jihadi attack in the offing the Canadian government does not understand the threat

Quick Hits: Episode 241 – Canada’s government does not understand terrorism and it is getting worse.

June 24 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, a day that most Canadians are most probably unaware of.  It marks the bombing of two Air India flights in 1985 by Sikh terrorists leading to the deaths of more than 320 people.  And yet the current Canadian government seems to ignore the terrorist threat, preferring to use inaccurate terminology to define it for fear of being seen as ‘racist’.   This is unacceptable.

Defiling the memory of dead Canadians – by Terry Glavin (

‘Any act glorifying terrorism …’: India targets Canada over Air India Kanishka bombing – Times of India (

Alisha Rao: The 1985 Air India bombing was a Canadian tragedy, yet far too many are still unaware it happened – The Hub

‘Urgency’ needed on terrorism threats, ex-CIA official Mike Morell says – POLITICO

Quick Hits

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 short podcasts, 30-year Canadian intelligence veteran Phil Gurski looks at a variety of issues ties to national security and public safety, bith in Canada and abroad as well as insight into what they mean and what we need to do about them.

About Phil Gurski

Phil 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 and the Director of the National Security Programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute from 2020-2022. Mr. Gurski has presented on violent Islamist-inspired and other forms of terrorism and radicalisation across Canada and around the world.

He writes at

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, republished by Double Dagger in 2022). He regularly blogs and podcasts (Canadian Intelligence Eh!), and tweets (@borealissaves) on terrorism and intelligence matters.

He was an associate fellow at the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT) in the Netherlands and is currently a digital fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University. He is also a visiting fellow at the International Security and Risk Management programme at the University of South Wales

Mr. Gurski is a regular commentator on terrorism and intelligence for a wide variety of Canadian and international media.

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.