College of Law Students Gain Valuable Experience in April 4 Counter-terrorism Simulation

On Friday, April 4, students in the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Global Perspectives on Counter-Terrorism class will gain valuable skills by participating in a simulation of something they hope never to experience in real life– a terrorism event.

In the daylong simulation, students, who are role-playing senior members of the American government and senior intelligence officials, will encounter complex foreign and domestic terrorist threats. The threats will require the students’ to gather, analyze, and act on imperfect intelligence information. The students will also be required to articulate and implement their decisions, and in doing so will be required to explain the events to members of the press corps, who typically demand that the student answer tough questions.

According to Professor Amos Guiora, whose students participate in the simulation exercise, “Viewers of past simulations consistently comment on how realistic the scenarios are and how the scenarios enhance the viewer’s appreciation for the complexity of terrorism. The incorporation of press conferences requiring students to articulate and advocate their positions demonstrates the burdens faced by public officials in the face of a terrorist attack.” Guiora also notes that the simulation exercise requires students to demonstrate a number of distinct skills including “advocacy, teamwork, leadership, information gathering and analysis.”

The counter-terrorism simulation will be webcast live on from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  A College of Law staff member will provide viewers with updates and explanations every 30-45 minutes.