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Terror, Terror, Terror!

November 1, 2012 by  

Terror, Terror, Terror!
PHOTOS.COM

New York University students in a class on transnational terrorism cannot pass the course until they “hypothetically plan a terrorist attack” of their own, including details about location and how they would carry out their dastardly plans.

An investigative report compiled by the New York Post, unveils how students of former Navy criminal investigator Marie-Helen Maras are asked to “step into [a terrorist’s] shoes” to write a 10- to 15-page paper on their proposed act of terror.

“In your paper, you must describe your hypothetical attack and what will happen in the aftermath of the attack,” Maras wrote in the syllabus obtained by The Post.

The students are also reportedly required to outline a government-response plan to the attack.

Ryan Singel, editor of Wired’s “Threat Level” blog, offered a critique of The Post’s alarmism that is rife with sarcasm.

He writes:

I know you apologists will say such an exercise is intended to train analysts to know how to think like their adversaries, and be able to understand how to detect and disrupt attacks. But that’s just fancy intellectualizing.

…But we need to do more than keep our students from drawing up plots for terrorists and then e-mailing their homework to them.

We need to rein in Hollywood and put export controls on — or even better — ban terrorist-communications-masquerading-as-entertainment like “Live Free or Die,” “Homeland,” and “24“. We should even consider controls on well-intentioned fare like the “Red Dawn” and “Rambo” movies from the 1980s.

The only way to keep the terrorists in the Dark Ages is to keep them in the dark, even if we have to sacrifice by living there too. Our bright future depends on it.

But perhaps there is a bigger picture than whether it is dangerous for graduate students to plot terrorist attacks and government response scenarios in class. The terrorism-lurks-around-every-corner mentality has become the American norm in the years since 9/11’s devastation — even as there have been an underwhelming number of terrorist attacks during the same period.

The students may still be gaining valuable skill, however, in learning to set up and subsequently thwart acts of terrorism — especially if you consider the way “counterterrorism” has largely worked in the past decade or so. Government agencies like the FBI set up elaborate plots, find weak-minded patsies to play along, equip them and then sweep in to save the day.

The New York Times pointed out in April: “Of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations.”

The most recent FBI plot was earlier this month when the agency convinced a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man that he wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

From New York Daily News:

While en route to his target Wednesday morning, [Rezwanul ] Nafis bragged to his accomplices — actually undercovers working for the FBI — that he had a “Plan B” to conduct a suicide bombing operation if cops thwarted his Federal Reserve mission.

…[The FBI’s acting assistant director in New York] insisted the public was never at risk because the explosives he had accumulated with the help of an undercover FBI agent and an FBI source posing as his accomplices were inert.

The Federal agents keep their jobs, the American people remain terrified of anyone who is lightly brown on an airplane or wearing a turban near a government building, and the security/police state continues to grow for when the elitists in charge will need it the most: when factions of the citizen population realize the folly of bureaucracy and take the advice of the Founders regarding tyrannical government.

Until then, enjoy your radioactive airport body scans, your government’s ability to conduct surveillance and make arrests at will and without warrant, and the continued militarization of and Federalized partnerships being made by your local law enforcement.

Americans should be frightened, but not of a “terrorist’s” potential to acquire an NYU student’s notebook; it’s what students may be required to do by their Federal masters in the not-so-distant future that’s scary.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • independent thinker

    I would say there are two possibilities here. One, the professor is collecting ideas to pass on to terrorist groups. Two the professor is working with the feds to accumulate new ideas for their made up sting operations. Actualy there is a third possibility, the professor is playing both sides of the street and passing selected ideas to each.

    • Robert Smith

      From Sam: “Americans should be frightened, but not of a “terrorist’s” potential to acquire an NYU student’s notebook; it’s what students may be required to do by their Federal masters in the not-so-distant future that’s scary.”

      Well Sam, I have a solution to it all.

      Why don’t you just organize all of them there right wing christians to pray and pray and pray to keep America safe.

      If your god is powerful enough to get Mary’s image on a slice of toast surely he can stop any danger to America.

      Rob

      • Vigilant

        Once again, the gratuitous insertion of your anti-Christian obsession. You really have some deep-seated mental problems, RS.

      • http://gravatar.com/bychoosing Jayson

        Dittos, Vigilant!!!

      • http://twitter.com/EricJonesson19 Eric Jones (@EricJonesson19)

        LMAO GOOD ONE!!!!!!!!!

    • Jon

      The students need to be warned that the papers they write will put them on DHS’s naughty list. They will never be able to get a good job, might be barred from flying, have their tax records studied for the next 60 years, etc. Under the Patriot Act, they might even be placed in prison indefinitely without a trial.

  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    BEING NEAR “Ground Zero” HAS OBVIOUSLY DESTROYED THE CAPABILITY TO REASON IN THE New York University COMMUNITY. THE ABILITY TO TERRORIZE THE PUBLIC DOES NOT REQUIRE A COLLEGE COURSE. CARRYING-OUT TERROR IS SIMPLE AND EASY-TO-ACHIEVE – YOUR EVENING NEWS IS THE ONLY “INSTRUCTION” YOU NEED. TERROR MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN GUN-FIGHTS IS ALSO ACHIEVABLE – AS RECENT HISTORY HAS SHOWN.

    FURTHERMORE, WHAT SELF-RESPECTING TERRORIST WOULD PROVIDE A PUBLIC OUTLINE OF HIS “HANDY-WORK?” SILLY ARTICLE.

    NEW YORK CITY SEEMS TO LONG FOR THE SPOTLIGHT MORE THAN ELEVEN YEARS AFTER 11 SEPTEMBER 2001.

    • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Frank

      Seems to me it is a very wise exercise. Mnay of these students will go into jobs or professions where they will be helping to stop future terrorist
      attacks. By making them plan one, in detail, they are going to be better prepared to handle that job of prevention.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        How about the students making up a terrorism scenario and doing too good a job and then being trapped that they are a possible terrrorist.

    • Lindsay

      I agree with Nadzieja…that was my first thought when I read the article.

  • Warrior

    I wonder how one would achieve their PHD on this subject?

    • B rian

      Hahahaha! This is where we find that nobody considers suicide bombings! The only people considering suicide bombings are those trying to figure out how to pay back their loans in this field. This field of research is quite limited, considering there has been relatively few terrorist attacks since 911. The Christmas day shoe bomber, foiled by average citizens…. The underwater bomber that fizzled his own nuts off….. And CIA orchestrated bomb plots that lone wolfs attempt to blow up a non explosive bomb.

      The object of terrorism is to act once and use that fear to control the situation…. In 11 years there has been fewer than one attempt a year at foreign terror in this country. And few of those were successful.

      I do not live in a state of terror. I’m well armed… And just like the Christmas day bomber, and flight 93….. The American people will defend this country! The whitehouse was saved from being hit by flight 93…. Because average Americans took that plane to their own deaths to protect this government! Did you hear me?! The government uses terrorism to control Americans….. The American people will defend this country when it is required! It’s been this way for 236 years….. Stop living in a terror mentality! It’s not a coincedence that the Syrian president is labeling the opposition as “terrorist”. Do you think the Syrian people believe that?!

      Think about it!

      • Robert Smith

        Hey B rian, you suggest: “Stop living in a terror mentality! ”

        Here is an idea!

        Get all those right wing christians organized so they can pray away the terrorists. If their mighty god is strong enough to create fear through hell, then he should be able to talk terrorists out of blowing themselves for a paltry 77 virgins.

        Rob

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Wouldn’t it be so much simpler for you to ask Christians to pray for your salvation.

      • B rian

        Robert smith……. Welcome to America! Where you have the right to slander anyone that you think disagrees with you! I am not a right winger, nor do I try to pray away the problems of this world! But I do appreciate your criticisms only because I assume you might be American too. And because of that I believe you have a god given right to talk crap! I am a registered independent…. I do not vote down party lines….. I vote for the guy that I think can do the best job, regaurdless of how incompetent the candidate is….. Considering the best candidates the republicans have happens to be a RINO (republican in name only). And the best candidtate the democrats have never actually had a job outside of a professors teaching aid. Seeing as how republican represent 26% of registered voters, democrats represent 34% of registered voters, and independents represent 40% of registered voters….. I feel like I am kinda screwed! I have to vote for a president to represent me that at best represent 1/3 the population, and I’m in a category of people that represents almost half!

        I don’t pray away my problems! I act! And my one little vote will be an act to get rid of this countries worste problem! And that would be the incumbent president that I did vote for in the first place…… But he’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he not capable of managing a mcdonalds, let alone being a representative of this once great union of states! He had all the oppourtunity in the world to make a difference in this country….. And he wasted it…. He wants to blame republicans and congress for his inability to do anything…… Let me let you in on a little secret…. After two years of having a democratic majority that he could have done anything with….. We The People removed his visa gold card for getting things done by reshaping congress to make it harder for him to destroy the country! But he wasn’t deterred either way….. He just bypasses congress with executive orders!

        Here……. Have some KOOL-AID! I am not who you are trying to make me out to be! So….. Welcome to my country friend….. You should try to offer ideas to the people in this discussion, rather than putting us down. If you don’t like my idea of “stop living in a terror mentality” then give me a better theory or idea! But that’s kinda hard for a left winger to do…… Offer ideas and solutions…… Cause there isn’t anybody to blame if you do that! It requires conversation and discussion…… And left wingers are only good at putting people down and blaming other people….. And that doesn’t quite work well towards a resolution of an issue does it?

        Don’t worry….. I’m not blaming you…… Not everybody has had oppourtunity in their life to learn proper coping mechanisms, or standard social skills! And I can’t blame your parents for not teaching you these things, considering you have to have these skills in order to teach them to your kids! So your stuck in coping/social limbo….. Where you can only slander others to feel like you are being heard….. It’s cool man….. I understand. I’m not taking it personally…… It’s not your fault! I hope you feel better!

        I’ll offer you another solution for your problem….. See how this works….. Offering solutions….. Your first step would be to try and find a little bit of self worth…. Aka self esteem! Then you might feel like your solution offering may carry a little bit of merit! And you can feel good about being part of the conversation. And by doing so you could take pride in the fact that you offered a reasonable explination to the cause…… Further building your self esteem! If you do this enough….. You may actually find your self worth! And by doing this you can grow and learn and evolve into something other than an adult child that tries to make other feel stupid, to make yourself feel better.

        There! This is the first step in social skills…… It takes practice! But You’ll get it! Now, finally, somebody in the history of your life has offered you the coping skills, and social skills to be a productive citizen of this country! You don’t have to thank me…… It was your parents job to teach you these things…… But once you’ve learned them…. You can teach your parents, and kids, and everything! Your life will become so much less miserable….. And you’ll be able to take accountability for your own actions and everything!

        In reality dude….. In case you didn’t get it…… This is my way of treating you, like you just treated me! Grow up and take part in the conversation….. I’m not stupid, and I don’t think you are either! Act like it!

  • RS

    Just because you do not plan out new ways your enemy will hurt you in the future and plan a response for it does not mean that your enemy is not planning for new ways to hit you. Failure to do these exercises limits you to only the current plans on how to respond only to the ways that you have already been attacked and is very shortsighted.

    This type of exercise is exactly what is already done in the real world by first responder agencies so it an excellent job prep skill they will need in the workplace.

  • Nancy in Nebraska

    It’s actually much worse than the article tells. In some public schools they are starting at a much younger age, like middle school! Everyone should listen to this! Our entire educational system is being corrupted!

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid949801312001?bckey=AQ~~%2cAAAACEco_Vk~%2c9bOat4XcfB_88ri1a3UMdKnLpH9aM8Fv&bclid=0&bctid=1271237687001

    • Luisa

      WHAT EVER HAPPEND TO TEACHING OUR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS TO USE THEIR IMAGINATIONS AS TO DESCRIBE A SITUATION OF HORROR OR JOY WITHOUT THEM NEEDING TO REANACT THEMSELFS AS THE EVEL DOERS OR THE GOOD DOERS? ONLY 3 TO 5 YEAR OLDS IS BENEFICIAL FOR THEM TO ACT AS THE ACTUAL DOERS FOR LACK OF BRAIN DIVELOPEMENT. THIS IS AN INSULT TO KEEP OUR FUTURE AMERICANS FROM USING THEIR POWER OF SELF CONTROL TO DESCRIBE A TERRORIST ATTACK LOWERING THEMSELVES TO BECOME PART OF IT. IT IS DISGUSTING UNPROFESIONAL AND EVIL. WE CAN ALL WRITE A HORROR BOOK OF SOME KIND WITHOUT BECOMING THE VALIANT OUR SELVES UNLESS IN SOME CASES IT IS TRUE.

  • moses

    if i was a student i would not do anything ,because there papers will be used against them ,if one does or says anything the hitlers dont like they will go back there get there papers and say you are ploting acts of terriorist attacks against the hitler gov.

  • Chester

    Nancy, what are you DEMANDING of your local school board? If you are worried about what the schools are teaching, perhaps you should go and talk to the parents in those districts to find out WHY this is being taught. Most schools don’t step outside the normal curriculum without a lot of prodding by people at the local level.

  • mark

    Americans live in the Republic of Fear and have ever since ludicrous rumors of the Jeffersonians trying to impose a blood-drenched French Revolution on the United States in the 1790s. This constant fear and paranoia has never let up ever since. Read Richard Hofstadter’s ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” published in 1964. We are the most fraidy-cat nation on earth even though the vast majority of Americans live in farly comfortable security. This has intensified with all these exaggerated fears of terrorism. This constant fear and paranoia leads to a foreign policy of never-ending invasions and interventions in other people’s land which in turn leads people all over the world to legitimately fear the United States.

    Yes, 9/11 occurred and it was horrible (though many on this site, locked in deep psychosis, are certain that George W. Bush organized that attack!). But you still have a much greater chance of dying in a bathroom accident or a car crash than you do of being killed by a foreign terrorist. You also have a much better chance of being shot dead at a convenience store or movie theatre in our massively-gun-armed society. But even the odds of the latter are mathematically quite low. None of this, of course, will convince the fear-mongers that Armageddon is not always right around the corner. There is also a lot of money to be made in fear-mongering — on right and left-wing websites, in Congress, in the Pentagon, and numerous businesses. Fearful people can be easily manipulated to support vast spending on government armaments, security, surveillance, and on a personal level, on more and more guns, canned goods, dried goods, generators, home security systems, personal bomb shelters, and assorted survivalist gear. There are big profits and huge prosperity for the U.S. Manufacturers of Endless, Constant Fear.

    • phideaux

      Then we can conclude from your remarks that you are totaly opposed to DHS and TSA as well as the un-patriot act.

      • B rian

        I am opposed to these things! Based on unconstitutional precedence. It’s actually very simple! You can add FEMA to that list too. Sandy just leveled new jersey…. I’m already paying inflated premiums on insurance due to those that live in Florida, luisana, Alabama, California, the rockie mountains, and. NOw you can add each of those million dollar homes leveled to our insurance bills…. Who needs insurance…. When we have FEMA…. Right? Wrong…… Who needs FEMA when we have insurance…… If I store more than 10 dads of food and water I can be considered a domestic terrorist….. My other option is to be dependent on FEMA…. I’ll take my chances with food storage! If governemt FEMA is as effective as government defending Benghazi, I want nothing to do with it!

  • auhunter

    Why would an ex-NCIS agent be teaching potential terrorists and collecting their work to disseminate to terrorist groups? Doesn’t make any sense. That’s why SEAL’s and Special Forces practice these type of drills, to be ready for the unexpected.

  • Liberty for all

    I am no authority on teachings or analysis of how to combat terrorism, however, once you have been swayed into thinking everyone is your enemy, then you do live in fear. That street runs both ways. Other nations live in fear too. Look at England and the bombings there, and in the middle east, and at all ends of this land, one has to wonder why we are all on the defensive. It appears we were lax in our thinking that all nations live and enjoy peace and prosperity as we have. Poor nations , and joblessness, an extremists create a festering play ground for those who would carry out such fantsey ..it appears we must now live ‘on-guard’ until we realize the future of how both Islam and Christians and Jews can live in harmony. “Peace” is important to all nations, but some nations…want to spread their religion such as Islam to all points of the globe and too do not want any other religion except Sharia. This means those who do not abide in Sharia law will be destroyed. So we are fighting not Islam but fanatics..It is true there is one God, but his word and spirit came to us in the days ..of Joseph and Mary, in the form of a baby, grew to be a man and his teachings were for peace and joy, and love, NOT to destroy you or your nation but to bring Love to one another. Therefore, a conscious decision to protect the word of God, is on everyone’s lips, but the love he taught is only in a few hearts. So yes, we must be vigilent and aware and protect our peaceful existence, but in the end God will triumph and Jesus will show mercy on all his creatures. His hand is outstretched …not for evil but for good. Killing your brother or sisters in this world is not for the good. That’s the Lords message. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. It is man’s wrath that is evil not the Lord’s. Therefore, take up your plowshares and lay down your swords.

  • Lawrence

    When are the news media and 99% of the government wake up to the fact that all muslims are either terrorists or terrorist Thympathizers?

    • SJJolly

      A billion Muslin terrorists or terrorist sympathizers in the world? Most, evidently, sleeper agents? And us with only a couple million people in our military, and about the same in police forces? “Resistance is futile”? :-?

    • B rian

      muslims are Muslims…… Extremist jihadists are Muslims that create the bad name for Muslims! Freedom of religions is protected by our constitution….. Extremist jihadists are not! They rank up there with our own kkk, black panthers, and as well as our bloods, crips, ms-13 and other local nuisances! Muslims number in the billions….. Extremist jihadist number in the 10s of thousands! Don’t group them together…. That’s like saying you are kkk because you are white.

  • RichE

    Would it be ok to teach this class at West Point?

  • RD

    They had a similar discussion among recruits at USAF Boot Camp this summer. They were asked how they would attack graduation ceremonies.

  • tim

    This hust goes to show us how ignorant the dept of education is, and also the bad graduation numb ers in this country. The gov’t is pumping more bull[expletive deleted] into our children and no education!!! We need to get rid of the US dept of education!!!

  • Public Citizen

    The professor needs to caution all of the students to keep any of their project materials from being transmitted by any electronic means. This includes storage of any material related to the project on any information storage and retrieval device that might be accessed through a public wi-fi connection.
    If these recommendations aren’t followed then the professor and the class may well find themselves the subject of an investigation by the ~~real~~ anti-terrorist investigators.

  • Dad

    An example of impressionable young people without any accomplishments to speak of, going to school, accumulating tens of thousands dollars of debt, and coming out still unable to make a living…. much less being able to do much of anything productive. Who would hire these morons? Certainly not industry…
    Well, I guess they are not being hired anyway.

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