Editorial: NYU’s Hypothetical Terrorist Attack

By:  Brianna Reinsant, Ashley James, and Layla Souchet

How would you plan an attack on the United States?

  This was the assignment given to New York University graduate students who had to describe their hypothetical attack in a 10-15 page paper. 

 NYU is facing criticism about the assignment, but these students are using these scenarios to “anticipate and counter terrorism,” NYU said. 

 The class is taught by Marie-Helen Maras, a U.S. Navy veteran, who has the military experience to teach students about this particular subject. This assignment will enhance the students critical thinking and strategic skills that they will later use for careers in intelligence, policing and counter-terrorism, according to huffingtonpostcollege.com.

 It is this type of thinking that will prepare our country for possible future attacks.  The paper causes students to consider everything from planning to the aftermath of the attack.

 The topic is appropriate for a class on counter-terrorism.  These are graduate level students in a graduate level class. 

 Most criticism has come from law enforcement officers worried that these detailed terror attacks will land in the wrong hands.  Instead of people worrying about the papers being misused, they should be thankful the school is preparing the next generation with the intelligence to protect our country.

 This class teaches students to think like their enemies and “step into a terrorist’s shoes,” Maras said. This way, students are prepared for their future jobs in terrorism intelligence by being prepared for any outcome.

The school hasn’t released full details of the class, including the grading scale and the outcome of the plans.


About laylasouchet

Senior journalism major at the University of Tampa. Loves sports, Italian food and hippos.
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