Phil Gurski

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Phil Gurski's The Threat From Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) offers a valuable perspective on extremism, informed by a lifetime of work in the Canadian security services. Gurski's first book is very accessible, and intentionally so, given that it's intended audience is who Gurski calls the "first responders" to the threat of radicalization: teachers, parents, law enforcement, religious figures, and ordinary citizens. Rather than tackling the fraught, and perhaps overly well-trodden, question of "why radicalization?", Gurski addresses more practical concerns of "how" and "what". By reviewing important Canadian cases of terrorism and identifying key indicators — although he is careful to stress that his indicators are no "checklist" — Gurski offers a perspective that is at once uniquely Canadian, and very welcome in a field that is often dominated by the scholarly perspective. I look forward to reading more from this author in future, as I expect he has a good deal more of value to share on the topic.

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