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Perspectives

Why terrorist movements seldom ever really go away

This post appeared in The Hill Times on February 4, 2019 When we think of the major terrorist threats facing us today we tend to think of phenomena like Islamist extremism (Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the like). If we want to sound more avant garde we might say far right extremism (neo-Nazis, white supremacists, […]

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Canadian Intelligence Eh! Podcast

Whatever happened to Sikh extremism?

Episode 2 – Here are supplementary notes for podcast #2

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Perspectives

Is the far right extremist threat really that big in Canada?

This piece appeared in The Hill Times on October 15, 2018. There is no question that when the topic around the water cooler turns to terrorism – not that I hope or think that it often does – as far as the average citizen is concerned the particular brand of terrorism that garners the most attention […]

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Perspectives

Is the far right extremist threat really that big in Canada?

This piece appeared in The Hill Times on October 15, 2018. There is no question that when the topic around the water cooler turns to terrorism – not that I hope or think that it often does – as far as the average citizen is concerned the particular brand of terrorism that garners the most attention […]

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Perspectives

Why wasn’t the Air India terrorist attack prevented?

This article was posted in The Hill Times on July 9, 2018. A week ago a relatively small crowd in Vancouver’s Stanley Park commemorated the single greatest terrorist attack in history (as determined by deaths) prior to 9/11. And Canada featured prominently in it.  I refer of course to the downing of Air India flight 182 […]

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Perspectives

Grievances are legitimate, violence is not

This piece appeared in The Hill Times on March 26 I do not really want to flog the Jagmeet Singh/Sikh extremism story ad nauseum – many others  have done that – but there is one thing that the leader of the NDP does that concerns me and needs to be addressed.  In truth he has […]

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Perspectives

Is Canada truly indifferent to the Air India terrorist attack of 1985?

There are a few things that hold a place of note in my memory whenever I think back to the start of my career in intelligence in 1983. As a wet-behind-the-ears multilingual analyst fresh out of university I had joined CSE – Canada’s SIGINT agency – with little to no clue as to what intelligence […]

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Perspectives

The fine line between hate and terrorism: murder is murder

This piece appeared in The Hill Times on February 12, 2017 http://www.hilltimes.com/2018/02/05/fine-line-hate-terrorism-murder-murder/132949   We in Canada have, thankfully, few dates that will ‘live in infamy’ to cite former US President Roosevelt in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor (9/11 would fit into this category as well).  When it comes to Canada I suppose many […]

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Perspectives

The Canadian family that just won’t go away

When I was growing up in London (Ontario) there was a famous quasi-mythical family that lived near the town of Lucan, about a half-hour away, in the 19th  century.  The Donnellys, or the ‘Black Donnellys’ as we were taught about them, were Irish immigrants who were killed by a mob in 1880 in a feud […]

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Perspectives

How one boy became a terrorist

Terrorism is very simple and very complicated at the same time.  Its simplicity comes from the set of axioms that underlie every terrorist and every terrorist group.  We can summarise terrorism in three compact phrases: My people are suffering. I/we know who is responsible for the suffering. I/we need to use violence to stop the […]