Western Foreign Fighters: The Threat To Homeland and International Security

The Conference Board of Canada, June 26, 2017
Recorded Webinar
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Scarcely a day goes by without news of yet another terrorist attack somewhere in the world. While most of these attacks occur in Asia and Africa, Western nations have been rocked as well: think Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Nice, Berlin, and Stockholm. Some of these attacks have been executed by individuals who have returned from fighting abroad with terrorist groups like Islamic State. More incidents are probable as reports indicate that more than 3,000 such individuals have performed jihad in Iraq and Syria alone. How can we stop these attacks from taking place? Who is best placed to do so? What can we do about those who return to our lands battle hardened and perhaps intent on carrying out mayhem?

Join us for a frank discussion on these issues with former CSIS strategic analyst Phil Gurski. In his new book, “Western Foreign Fighters: the threat to homeland and international security”, Phil looks at why Canadians and other Westerners join terrorist groups like IS and what threat they pose to our security. Phil will discuss incidents in other countries and the likelihood we will see attacks in Canada, as well as present his latest research findings on how we may be able to manage these threats.

Webinar Highlights

During this 60-minute webinar, you will learn about:

  • What is a foreign fighter and how widespread is the phenomenon;
  • What are the motivations behind why people opt to fight in foreign wars and can we predict these motivations;
  • What can and should we do about these individuals before they travel and after they return.

About Phil

Photo of Phil GurskiPhil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting (borealisthreatandrisk.com). He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS from 2001-2013, specializing in Al Qaeda-inspired violent extremism and radicalisation. From 1983 to 2000 he was employed as a senior multilingual analyst at Communications Security Establishment, specialising in the Middle East. He has also served as senior special advisor in the National Security Directorate at Public Safety Canada from 2013 until his retirement from the civil service in May 2015 and as a consultant with the Anti-Terrorism Section of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Mr. Gurski has presented on Al Qaeda-inspired violent extremism and radicalisation around the world. He is the author of “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West” (Rowman and Littlefield 2015).

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