Journalists and intelligence analysts are two peas in a pod: they deal with lots of information, try to divide the good stuff from the junk, and distill it for customers – readers in the former case and senior government officials in the latter. Spies usually work in areas where unrest and risk to life is clear and some journalists also are assigned to lands where one must be careful. What is it like, then, to find oneself in such circumstances as a journalist? An in-depth conversation with BBC reporter Hugh Sykes.
About my guest
Hugh Sykes has reported from many countries across the world for decades for the BBC, including stints in dozens of nation in Africa and the Middle East including the Iraq War, the presidential election in Iran in 2009, and the rise, decline and fall of the ‘Arab Spring’ in Egypt between 2011 and 2013. He survived a roadside bomb during the 2005 elections in Iraq, a death threat in Northern Ireland, and an assault by striking coal miners in Wigan who tried to throw him into a canal.
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 second edition of The Peaceable Kingdom: A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present, published by Double Dagger in February 2023.