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NYU Professor Tells Students To Plot Terrorist Attack

NYU teacher, Marie-Helen Maras

An NYU professor asks students to “hypothetically plan a terrorist attack.”

Cops are outraged and say the “lesson” is an insult to officers killed on September 11.

The course is on transnational terrorism and taught by former Navy criminal investigator Marie-Helen Maras. In her course syllabus, she requires students to “step into [a terrorist’s] shoes” and plan out a 10-15 page battle plot.

One outraged law-enforcement expert said, “Some of the most notorious terrorists, including Anwar al-Awlaki, got their start on American campuses. It looks like after the CIA killed al-Awlaki, NYU is helping to produce successors.”

Awlaki studied at Colorado State University who became an Al Qaeda propagandist. He mentored three 9/11 hijackers, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber.”

He was killed in a CIA drone strike last year.

In the paper assigned by Maras, she instructed students to “consider all aspects of the attack.”

“In your paper, you must describe your hypothetical attack and what will happen in the aftermath of the attack,” Maras syllabus stated.

Maras told the NY Post that the exercise is to prepare students for the field for careers in intelligence, policing, and counter terrorism.

“This is grad-level assignment for a grad-level course.”

Many are outraged. Some say that papers like these could end up being a blueprint for plotting attacks rather than counter-terrorism.

What do you think of this assignment?

  • Gerry C

    Seems great to me!

  • Clara

    To be able to catch a terrorist, you yourself should be able to plan a somewhat cohesive plausible plot to be able to know what you are looking for.

  • Adam Kimberlin

    First thing I had to learn in arson investigation classes was how to be an arsonist. The assignment seems valid to me.

  • Virat

    What the heck do the New York police department know about higher education?

  • Elly

    Nothing wrong with it – seems like a valid assignment to me.

  • Masum

    Its common sense. Cops do the same training. You cant catch terrorist unless you think like them.