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Stories by Phil Gurski

A rare look at the terrorist threat to Canada thanks to CSIS

Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—We get a peek at what security intelligence services do all too rarely in this country. In contrast, the recent leaking of an FBI memo on the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—We in Canada have, thankfully, few dates that will ‘live in infamy’ to cite former U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor (9/11 would fit into this category…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—Canada is a nation of immigrants, of that there is no question. Our historical openness to those around the world has made us the country we are, warts and all. And while immigration waves have…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—If there is one thing we've learned about Joshua Boyle it is that he is an odd duck. He apparently made more than 62,000 edits and contributions to Wikipedia over a 13-year span (if my math is…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—There are many reasons why citizens dislike city hall. You might have a beef over the taxes you pay. Perhaps you are not happy with snow removal or garbage collection. You may even have a…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
In the lead up to New Year’s a lot of people were very nervous that festivities would be interrupted by a terrorist attack. To be fair, the fear was not completely unfounded as last year’s…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Canadians are nice people, or so we think of ourselves that way. There is not much doubt that many see Canadians as ‘nice’ and even harmless: I recently read a Doonesbury comic in which one…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—Last week, I was invited to a conference in the U.K. hosted by the Henry Jackson Society, a U.S.-U.K. think tank that looks at a variety of issues. At this particular conference, entitled "A wake-up…
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Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—All is fair in love and war, or so the saying goes. Except that nothing is usually fair in either, especially when it comes to war. We ought to have learned over the several millennia…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—Canada is a nation of immigrants. After all, each and every one of us, with the exception of our First Nations, is an immigrant or the offspring of immigrants, whether we can trace our families…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
An awful lot has been happening in Saudi Arabia of late.  There is a new sheriff-to-be in town, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman—or MBS as he is known—and he is not wasting any time in…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—It is not hard to understand why many are obsessed with terrorism these days. Every news day brings us yet another attack, more misery, and more deaths. No wonder some may want to scream “make…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
There is no question that the relationship between the Toronto Police Services (TPS) and the citizenry of Hogtown have been rocky of late.  Whether it is the controversial carding programme or allegations of police brutality…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—This piece was never going to be an easy one to write. The organization where I proudly worked for more than 15 years—CSIS—is now the subject of a $35-million lawsuit by five employees alleging racism,…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
What is it about terrorism that people fail to grasp? I’ll put it as simply as I can: there are individuals (and groups) out there that plan and carry out heinous acts of violence we…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—In the aftermath of a terrorist attack we all go through a typical laundry list of questions. Who is behind this act and did he act alone? Are there others out there? What will he…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
I suppose that in many ways none of this should be unexpected. Its obviousness does not make it right, however. There are lots of things that we do not question that are nevertheless the wrong…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
The city of New York, the site of the world-changing events of 9/11, appears to have suffered its worst single attack of terrorism since that fateful date 16 years ago. A man drove a rented…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—There is no question that the world has terrorism on the brain. So much has changed since 9/11 that we are both more attuned to and frightened by the spectre of terrorism that it has…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
It is rare that one can look back on something composed years ago and see it as relevant today as it was thought to be back then. So much changes as new variables enter into…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—U.S. authorities are still searching for a motive behind Stephen Paddock’s rampage in Las Vegas two weeks ago. A number of ‘theories’ have been put forward, none of which are very helpful. For instance, the…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—First of all, kudos to the Trudeau government for its commitment to the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (CCCEPE—that name is way too long, however). The $35-million over five years is…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
It has been a little more than a week and a half since Canada suffered its latest, and thankfully still rare, terrorist attack. A 30-year-old Somali refugee named Abdulahi Sharif hit and stabbed an Edmonton…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—They don’t call British Columbia the "Left Coast" of Canada for nothing. Our wonderfully beautiful Pacific side is known for its somewhat socialist views, greater tolerance of marijuana and progressive environmental positions, a lot of…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
Well this is a strange move by the Trudeau government. It was announced yesterday that Canada’s national police, intelligence, and border agencies—the RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and Canada Border Services Agency, respectively—can use “torture-tainted…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—Remember the refugee crisis of a few summers ago? We all were riveted by the pictures of hundreds of thousands of desperate Syrians, Iraqis and many others, risking their lives in overland journeys or even…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—I don’t get it. We make a big deal of terrorism these days, too big in my opinion, but we have collectively decided that terrorism is a serious threat (which it is) and that we…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—Scientists have made great progress in eradicating diseases that once maimed or killed millions of people. Think of smallpox. Or polio, which a few years ago was on the verge of disappearance though state instability…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
The other day I had lunch with an old friend who, like me, used to work in the Canadian intelligence community. We had a wide-ranging chat over a number of issues—Donald Trump, what each of us…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—A lot of people are worried about the rise of the far right these days in light of what happened in Charlottesville, Va., recently. At least that seems to be the case, based on the…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
The carnage last week in Barcelona is getting to be depressingly familiar. An individual drives a vehicle (car, van, 18-wheeler) into an unsuspecting crowd of people, strewing them like bowling pins. Innocent people are injured, some…
Opinion|By Phil Gurski
OTTAWA—A year ago, Canada dodged a terrorist bullet when the almost 25-year old Muslim convert Aaron Driver climbed into a cab outside his sister’s home in Strathroy, Ont., a small town not quite 40 kilometres…

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