Former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
Former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin LadenIsrael news photo: Flash 90

New York City police are enraged over a professor’s telling students to “hypothetically  plan a terrorist attack in order to prepare them for intelligence careers," The New York Post reported.

Former Navy criminal investigator Marie-Helen Maras is teaching the graduate-level course aimed to prepare students for careers in intelligence and counterterrorism.

One of her assignments is for students to “hypothetically plan a terrorist attack,” and the professor advises the students to “step into [a terrorist’s] shoes” and write a terrorist gang’s battle plan.

Maras took pains to make it clear that each paper submitted must include a declaration that “this is a hypothetical scenario for a university course on transnational terrorism.”

New York's men in blue are not impressed. They consider the assignment an insult to the 23 New York City police officers who died in 9/11, in addition to another 37 police officers working for the Port Authority.

“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,” one outraged law-enforcement expert on terrorism told the New York newspaper.

“I’m disgusted,” said the source. “What is this, we have our students do the work for the terrorists?” one policeman was quoted as saying.

The professor defended the course assignment, explaining that students also are supposed to consider counterterrorist measures that would be carried out after their own hypothetical terrorist attack

She advised them to consider the hypothetical attack from several aspects, such as how it would be carried out and sources of funding.