A terrorism expert and former Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) employee is speaking out in the wake of the attack at an LGTBQ nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 injured.
The shooter, who proclaimed an allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group in calls to 911, was killed in a shoot-out with police, bringing the total number of dead up to 50.
Phil Gurski is a former CSIS employee and now operates Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting. In an interview with Gormley on Monday morning, he said we must open our eyes to reality.
“We have to get away from this notion that it can’t happen here. It does happen here, it happens in Canada, it has happened in Canada. You don’t have to be in the midst of Fallujah to become radicalized, you can become radicalized in Estevan as far as I’m concerned,” he explained.
The shooter was identified as Omar Marteen and was reportedly flagged by the FBI in the past. Gurski says it is unbelievable that in spite of that he was still able to buy guns. He said the U.S. has to look into its gun laws.
“There has to be something in place, that somebody who comes to the attention of the FBI – who is suspected as having ideological leanings towards an extremist group like Islamic State – should get nowhere near any kind of firearm. I don’t give a damn what his constitutional rights are,” Gurski said.
He does not expect to see a revenge attack on the Muslim community as a result of the terror attack in Orlando. Gurski expressed how he believes relations are improving.
“Let’s not label them all or tar them all with the same brush, let’s deal with the ones who are radicalized and violent and lets monitor them, and if necessary, arrest them. But let’s not go down the other path as well, and I think we’re slowly getting there,” Gurski commented.
According to statements by the president, the attack was an example of homegrown extremism and there is no evidence at this time that it was part of a larger plot beyond the individual. It is being treated as a terror investigation, and in a news conference the FBI director said there were indications that the shooter was inspired by the ideology of terrorist groups.