So where were all the terrorist attacks in Canada in 2022?

Terrorism chicken littles have a lot to answer for when their predictions of waves of violence do not come to pass, as in the case of RWE.

This piece appeared in The Epoch Times on December 31, 2022.

Headline writers have a challenging job before them (note that they are rarely, if ever, the same people who actually write columns or news stories in the media). They have to read an article, understand it, figure out something to write in less than 10 words that captures the essence of the piece, and compose it in such a way that the reader sees it and says, “Wow! I really want to read the whole thing now!”

In other words, there is a level of sensationalism to the art of the headline. While one hopes accuracy is in there somewhere, the real goal is to sell content to consumers.

Of course, each headline writer has his or her own internal biases, in part determined by the tone of the medium and in part personal in nature. The need to sell the article is tied to what kind of audience is the intended target. As societies change, media companies have to keep up with preferences to ensure good results.

Which brings me to terrorism.

We are in an era in Canada, and perhaps in a few other Western countries, where it sure seems that the only threat that matters is that from the nebulous far right. This veritable dog’s breakfast of groups and movements, stretching from neo-Nazis and fascists, to white nationalists and supremacists, to even vaccine denialists, Q-Anon and incels (involuntary celibates), is now portrayed as growing rapidly in our country and the United States, poised to carry out attacks everywhere in their campaign to impose their views on the rest of us. Headlines scream this regularly in Canadian media, as self-styled “national security experts” try to convince us of the inevitability of a reign of terror.

Except they are mostly wrong. Not only has the threat as described by these scholars been grossly exaggerated, but the actual real world incidence of attacks has been all but non-existent. Note that I am stressing “real world” events and not online messaging; anyone who doesn’t make that distinction is most assuredly NOT a terrorism expert in my view.

The facts speak for themselves. Canada did not witness one single act of far-right terrorism in all of 2022. This data point is problematic for the terrorism Chicken Littles. If you spend all your time running around warning of waves of violent extremist acts by those holding right-wing views, and no such acts occur, at a minimum your credibility suffers. And what is worse, as far as I can see it, is the complete absence of admission of error. We rarely (ever?) see anyone write something along the lines of: “Nine months ago I boldly predicted an increase in terrorist attacks by white supremacists. None took place. I apologize for my hubris and arrogance and will do better in the future not to make similar bad analyses.” Instead they move on to the next “prediction,” which is equally likely to be off-base.

What then should the average Canadian news junkie do? It’s simple. Look at the article in question and see who wrote it. What biases does the author have? What experience in counter-terrorism does the writer provide evidence for? What data is used, where is it from, and how reliable is it? I know this is a lot to ask of an average reader skimming the headlines, but if we are to gain a better comprehension of threat in order to make better decisions on how to confront (and prevent) terrorism, we must question in a healthy way the information we are fed. There really is no other option.

For 2023, then, I have my own wish list of resolutions, but for others in the national security field. Don’t exaggerate threat in order to draw attention to yourself—you are not that important. Base your ideas on data and make sure the data is solid. Don’t simply follow the herd’s mentality—many sheep are going in the wrong direction. Admit when you blow it.

We may see some terrorist attacks in our fair land in the coming year. Then again, we may not. We are a relatively safe land in a world where that quality is sorely missing. This is not a call to become complacent, but one to be sober in our analysis and not seek attention for all the wrong reasons.

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.

2 replies on “So where were all the terrorist attacks in Canada in 2022?”

To ask if RWEs and white CHRISTIAN nationalists have legitimate grievances, I have to first answer a question you posted on Twitter. “Why are my country and my courts repatriating the ISIS genocide victimisers instead of helping the true victims????”. Answer: Woke Political Correctness.

Same reason why we are indoctrinated at youth that diversity is our strength. Same reason why our Government is printing away tens of millions of dollars on Anti-Hate propaganda, including giving millions to Amira Elghawaby. Same reason why Employment Equity gives preference to visible minorities (ie: those who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour). Same reason why there is a local store that will only sell to “BIPOC”. Same reason why several room-for-rent ads specifically request “Female Asian Students”. Same reason why residential school survivors get payments, but White people forced into poor work-houses and family members of those murdered in them get called racist. Same reason why you can tear down statues of Queen Vickie and Queen Lizzie II, but get the high-heck beaten out of you for spray painting the statue of Louis Riel.

Yes RWEs have a right to be ticked off, when all the good jobs have been exported – first the manufacturing, now any job that can be done over the internet; like contact centre work, web design, programming etc… As multi-billion dollar companies can contract out for slave labour. Then we import our “temporary” foreign workers, to keep everything other than nice Government jobs minimum wage. Forcing Canadians to do gig work that pay less because they are self-employed contractors.

At the same time we have people dying in over-filled hospital waiting rooms, unable to find a family doctor. Due to the fact provinces will not pay medical professionals enough to NOT work in the United States.

Not to mention the foreign investors are getting loans to buy up all these plastic garbage condos (while they are still a hole in the ground), forcing Canadians onto the street – due to a lack of affordable apartments… you know the THINGS WE USED TO BUILD — FOR *OUR* PEOPLE.

Now Ottawa wants to bring in 500,000 more immigrants each and every year, and white CHRISTIAN nationalists no longer have the ability to support their dream of a 1950’s family. You know, where the man worked 40-48 hours a week, wife stayed home looked after two kids; and papa got that nice raise to buy a new gas-guzzling all-metal-unibody car (one that does not give you a check engine light, stall on the road and explode in flames, like a brand new G-D Hyundai; fresh off the lot)!

Neo-Nazis are nutcases, but not all RWEs are child-murdering Jew-hating wankers. Also not all nutcases are dangerously violent. Yet they do have a point, thing is you can not lump all of us into the next Timothy McVeigh or Kurt Saxon (of the Poor Man’s James Bond book series).

Yes, it is tragic when a white kid walks into a Mosque with an assault rifle. Yet as you know most perps of attacks on Muslims are… themselves Muslim, mostly due to the Sunni/Shia split and Saudi radicalized Wahabi/Salafi extremists. Surprisingly it’s Ibadism (based on the bloodthirsty Kharijites) that is now the most peaceful of the three surviving branches of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Guess I am cancelled now!

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