Report

Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public's Concerns Remain Fairly Steady

  • December 02, 2010

Since 9/11, there have been major terrorist attacks in Great Britain, Spain and other countries.  And in the United States, there have been Orange Alerts and numerous near misses involving bombs smuggled aboard aircraft and in parked cars.

But over the course of all of this, there is little evidence that close calls in this country or terrorist attacks overseas have led to a fundamental change in the public's worries about terrorism.

A recent national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Nov. 4-7 among 1,255 adults, finds that 59% say they are very (21%) or somewhat (38%) worried there will soon be another terrorist attack in the United States.

This is little changed from July 2007 (20% very, 42% somewhat worried). In fact, looking back over nearly a decade, the public's worries over another attack have been fairly steady, with a few exceptions. In June 2002, following the arrest of Jose Padilla, an American accused of planning a “dirty bomb” attack on the U.S., the percentage saying they were very worried about an attack jumped to 32% from 2o% six months earlier. But by August 2002, just 16% said they were very worried.

Read the full report Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public's Concerns Remain Fairly Steady on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.