Poll shows Americans fear a new terror attack

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By Brett Gillin

13 years ago today, the United States endured the most horrific and devastating terror attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil. Now, with the recent rise of violence against Americans and their allies from various Islamic extremists, a new poll shows that American fear over a new terror attack is on the rise, while the feeling of safety and security continues to decline.

The poll, conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, shows that 47% of Americans think that our country is less safe now than it was before the attacks on September 11, 2001. According to this article on Atlanta’s 11Alive, this represents a huge increase from a poll conducted in 2002, just a year after the attacks. Back in September of 2002, when the nation was remembering the one year anniversary, only 20 percent of those polled thought that the country was less safe. The same question, asked just last year, saw that only 28% felt that America was less safe now than before the terrorist attacks.

The poll also shows the disturbing trend that only 26% of Americans feel that the actions the country has taken since the attacks have made the country a safer place to live in. The reasons for the decrease in feeling safe are varied.

Peter Hart, a pollster with Hart Research, told 11 Alive news that the recent videos, released by ISIS, showing the graphic beheading of journalists, probably has a large amount to do with the results of the poll. “The beheadings are so chilling to the American public,” Hart told reporters. “The only things I think of equal impact are the self-immolations back in Vietnam.”

Another pollster, Bill McInturuff told reporters “A very war-weary country… seems to have woken up to the real threat that ISIS may present,” when explaining the poll numbers.

With Americans feeling less safe than they have in decades, the poll also shows that Americans are looking to take action in order to regain a sense of control and safety. The poll shows that more than 60% of those responding favor U.S. military action be taken against ISIS. Only 13% disagree, thinking the U.S. should take no action. The remaining 24% said they did not have enough information to make a decision.

Finally, the poll shows that Americans are at an all-time low in their support of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy. Only 32% of those polled responded favorably. Those polled thought, by a wide margin, that national defense would be in better hands with the GOP (54 percent vs only 16 for the Democrats).



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