Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. ( and a 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, specializing in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation.  From 1983 to 2001 he was employed as a senior multilingual analyst at Communications Security Establishment (CSE – Canada’s signals intelligence agency), specialising in the Middle East.  He also served as senior special advisor in the National Security Directorate at Public Safety Canada from 2013, focusing on community outreach and training on radicalisation to violence, until his retirement from the federal civil service in May 2015, and as consultant for the Ontario Provincial Police’s Anti-Terrorism Section (PATS) from May to October 2015.  He was the Director of Security and Intelligence at the SecDev Group from June 2018 to July 2019, focusing on Islamist terrorism online.  From October 2019 to April 2022 he was the Director of the National Security Program at the University of Ottawa’s PDI.  

Mr. Gurski has presented on violent Islamist-inspired and other forms of terrorism and radicalisation across Canada and around the world.  He is the author of six books to date:  “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West” (Rowman and Littlefield 2015) “Western Foreign Fighters: the threat to homeland and international security” (Rowman and Littlefield 2017), The Lesser Jihads: taking the Islamist fight to the world (Rowman and Littlefield 2017), An end to the ‘war on terrorism (Rowman and Littlefield 2018) , When religion kills: how extremist justify violence through faith (Lynne Rienner 2019) and  The Peaceable Kingdom? A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present.

He regularly blogs (Today in Terrorism and other issues), podcasts (Canadian Intelligence Eh!  – available on his Web site), and tweets (@borealissaves) on national security and terrorism.  He is a digital fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies at Concordia University.  Mr. Gurski is a regular commentator on national security, terrorism and radicalisation for a wide variety of Canadian and international media.  He is fluently trilingual in English, French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Arabic and Farsi (Modern Persian). 

A new edition of The Peaceable Kingdom will be published by Double Dagger in 2023.

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