Canadian Intelligence Eh

Canadian Intelligence Eh

Everywhere you look these days terrorism and violent extremism dominate the headlines. Whether you follow what is happening in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in the West writ large, we are inundated with news of attacks by groups and individuals fighting for a 'cause'.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 counterterrorism 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.


April 8, 2022 12 mins

Borealis has had a good run since 2015 - podcasts, blogs, media interviews, etc.  not to mention six books on terrorism. It is time, however, to move on.  This is the last podcast... for now.

About the host Phil Gurski:
Phil is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Programme Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Developme...

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France could be seen as the 'birthplace' of terrorism - think the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution of the 1790s.  The country has seen some catastrophic attacks such as the Stade de France/Bataclan jihadi  one of November 2015.  A new report discusses the state of terrorism in France and Borealis talks to its author Alexandre Rodde from the Gendarmerie Nationale

Alexandre is a security consultant spec...

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When an arrest is made in a terrorism case or, worst case scenario, we are doing a post-analysis of an attack, we often read about a person's 'radicalisation process'.  The assumption is that terrorists are made, not born, and that there are signs to look for before it is too late.  Borealis talks to Executive Director Myrieme Churchill of Parents4peace, an organisation that aims to help families identify and deal wi...

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There are two types of terrorists: those who die/are killed in their attacks and those who are not.  The latter usually end up in prison for long periods of time.  Then what?  Borealis talks once again with Norwegian CT analyst Atle Mesoy on the infamous Anders Breivik case from 2011.

►Listen to my previous podcast with Atle Mesoy: Episode #126 - Is it time to revisit the mental illness/terrorism nexus?

Atle Meso...

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Canada's intelligence agency CSIS has a national presence across the country.  That it where the investigations happen and the intel is collected.  What it is like to run such a shop?  Borealis talks to former senior CSIS IO Dan Faughnan.

Dan Faughnan served for over 30 years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring as a senior director general. During his long career Dan served in...

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Some 40,000 ISIS terrorists joined the group in the mid-2010s from over 100 nations, including Canada.  Many are still alive, some languishing in prisons or camps, including women and children.  There are those lobbying for their return to their homelands: is this wise?  Borealis has a conversation with Dr. Alexandra Bain, a religious studies prof at St Thomas University in New Brunswick.

CORRECTION: Dr Bain noted that a r...

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While acts of terrorism are not all expensive ventures, some terrorist groups do manage large financial empires (ISIS is a good example).  Just how important is this and how do we detect/stop these money flows?  Borealis talks with one of Canada's leading money laundering/terrorist financing gurus Kim Manchester

Kim R. Manchester is the Managing Director of ManchesterCF Financial Intelligence, a firm based in Toronto that suppl...

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Borealis has a conversation with Jennifer Benmenashe in Montreal on why she wants to gain a position on national security with the Canadian government.

About the guest Jennifer Benmenashe:
After completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto in History, Political Science and Religion, Jennifer Lauren continued her studies at King’s College London, UK, where she has just completed her Master’s degree in I...

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The most recent Canadian national threat assessment names incels as one of the most serious menaces to public safety.  Are they really?  Borealis chats once again with the world's premiere authority on these people, the Incel Project founder Naama Kates.

Naama Kates is an investigative journalist and host of the podcast "Incel" which dives deep inside the incel community. 

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Boreal...

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February 20, 2022 11 mins

The events in Canada over the last few weeks have made international headlines and even spawned similar actions abroad (France, NZ, the Netherlands).  What is it all about?  Borealis weighs in on language, intelligence and a little discussed troubling event in Western Canada that could be actual terrorism.

Mentionned articles:
Gurski: The ‘truck convoy’ is many things but it is not terrorism
CBC bias on full disp...

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Movies about spies are a dime a dozen - think James Bond. But what is working in intelligence really like?  Borealis is joined by Andrew Kirsch, author of a new book "I was never here"

Andrew Kirsch served as an intelligence officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for just under a decade. He held roles as a policy analyst and a field investigator, ultimately leading the special operations security te...

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Many people probably believe that anyone who plans a terrorist attack in which their own death is assured (i.e. a suicide bomb) is mentally suspect.  And yet research has shown that most terrorists are as 'normal' as you or me.  But are they?  Borealis is joined by Norwegian practitioner Atle Mesoy to discuss these matters.

Atle Mesoy is the founder of U-Turn, an Oslo-based NGO working to prevent violent extremis...

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Three years ago a Saudi 'Tiger Team' tried to assassinate a high-ranking former intel official now living in Canada, Dr Saad Al Jabri.  When that failed, the Saudis sued the official, alleging massive fraud.  A similar case in the US has just been dismissed as groundless: what should Canada do now?  Borealis is rejoined by former CSIS agent Al Treddenick to discuss.

Alan Treddenick is a former senior Canadian Sec...

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When you are the chief of police of a major city or, more narrowly a national capital, things get complicated.  Not only are there everyday issues (traffic, petty crime, etc.) but also national security ones and there are often multiple police jurisdictions at play.  As Ottawa is still dealing with an anti-vaccine mandate trucking convoy, Borealis talks to former Ottawa Chief of Police Charles Bordeleau.

Born and raised in...

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An interview with Christine Veer, entrepreneur & investigator. She shares a little on her background and why she’s passionate about making a difference in the world of national security, especially counter-terrorism. You can also learn more about her through her Linkedin profile at

About the host Phil Gurski:
Phil is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Lt...

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When China seized the 'two Michaels' (Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig) in December 2018 it was clearly a retaliation for Canada's arrest, at the behest of the US, of the CFO of Huawei.  Canadians were incensed at this violation of law and blamed China for it.   A new book on this affair, entitled appropriately 'The Two Michaels', is out and Borealis has a chat with one of the authors, Canadian Press journ...

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For many citizens the macabre fascination with terrorism ends when trials are held and the bad guys are sent to jail. But is that the end of the threat?  Borealis talks with former UK prison governor Ian Acheson on what happens after the barred doors are closed.

Ian Acheson spent a quarter century in prison security and counter-terrorism. He also ran the UK government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, in Southwest Eng...

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For some of us a career in intelligence/law enforcement came about almost randomly (or completely randomly in my case!).  For others it was a chance to follow in the footsteps of someone admired.  Borealis talks to Eric Caron, a 25-year veteran US Special Agent about his career fighting bad guys.

Eric Caron is a retired U.S. Diplomat, U.S. Special Agent, HSBC Middle East Bank Executive and author of SWITCHED ON – The Heart...

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When we talk about counter terrorism we mean all kinds of things, ranging from 'preventing' people from going down the road to potential violence to those who actually want to kill.  What is at stake when we have to kill to prevent an act from occurring.  Borealis has a chat with ex-Australian soldier Shane Healey on these issues and others.

Shane Healey enlisted in the Australian Army in 1995. Between 2004 and 2...

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A curious phenomenon has arisen of late: Westerners advocating that Canada and other nations bring back ISIS terrorists. Such an act would necessitate expensive trials, the difficult gathering of evidence and the almost impossible procurement of witnesses. Borealis looks at why these people are almost the equivalent of the 'useful idiots' of the Cold War.

About the host Phil Gurski:
Phil is the President and ...

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