Washington: A New York University class on ‘transnational terrorism’ has reportedly asked students to “hypothetically plan a terrorist attack”, a move that has shocked US police officials.
The angry cops claimed that the outrageous lesson plan is an insult to the officers killed in the September 11 attacks.
The controversial course, taught by former Navy criminal investigator Marie-Helen Maras, has required the pupils to “step into [a terrorist’s] shoes” and write a 10- to 15-page paper on their battle plan, the New York Post reports.
“In your paper, you must describe your hypothetical attack and what will happen in the aftermath of the attack,” Maras wrote in the syllabus.
The students must also enlist the methods of execution, sources of funding, number of operatives needed and the target government’s reaction, the syllabus outlined.
According to the paper, al Awlaki was the al Qaeda propagandist who studied at Colorado State University and later mentored three 9/11 hijackers, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab. He killed in Yemen last year in a CIA drone strike.
“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,” said an angry law-enforcement expert on terrorism.
However, Maras defended the course assignment, the paper said.
“The exercise is meant to prepare students for the field, to prepare them for careers in intelligence, policing, counterterrorism. This is a grad-level assignment for a grad-level course. Why didn’t the police call me if they have concerns? I have NYPD officers in my class,” she said.