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

By Phil Gurski      

The Islamist threat has far outweighed that of the right-wing threat by a long shot; at least in terms of public perception and impact. We are living, after all, in a world defined, in many ways, by 9/11.

Our security and law enforcement agencies will have to give this a great deal of thought as they strive to keep us safe. Whether or not this necessitates a significant shift from Islamist extremist investigations to right-wing ones is a question that has yet to be answered, writes Phil Gurski. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—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, but as far as the average citizen is concerned, the particular brand of terrorism that garners the most attention is that of Islamist extremism. Whether we are talking about the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, or any one of a depressingly large number of extremist organizations, it’s hard to argue that this emphasis and association are wrongly placed. All you have to do is pick up any newspaper on any day (or search any online news site) and I am certain you will find at least one story, and far too often many stories, of attacks perpetrated by a group of this ilk. This, of course, has become the new normal in most people’s minds, at least since 9/11, if not before.

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