Paris attacks have little impact on US public concerns over terror at home

Pew Research Center poll finds the public gives high ratings to the US government’s anti-terrorism efforts.

Times Square, New York (photo credit: REUTERS)
Times Square, New York
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Roughly one in four Americans are very worried a terrorist attack will hit the homeland in the near future, according to a poll released Monday on US attitudes after last week’s events in France.
That number has been consistent for years, however: Since 2005, between 23-26 percent of US citizens have carried this fear, with 35-40% “somewhat” concerned over the threat.
According to the Pew Research Center, which has conducted the survey since 2001, “the public gives high ratings to the US government’s anti-terrorism efforts.”
“About seven-in-10 say the government is doing very well (22%) or fairly well (50%) in reducing the threat,” the research center reported.
But, on the contrary, Pew’s most recent poll found that half of the American public was concerned the US government was not doing enough to protect the homeland.
After the Senate released a report last month condemning the use of enhanced Central Intelligence Agency interrogation techniques of terrorist suspects as torture, Pew found that most Americans still support the measures – by a large majority in the Republican Party, and roughly half within the Democratic Party.
A separate Pew survey found that 29% of Americans were following the unfolding events in Paris “very closely” throughout the turmoil there, which claimed the lives of 17 in three attacks over a threeday period. Pew described the age gap among those following the news was statistically significant: 43% of those over 65 years old followed very closely, while only 15% of 18 to 29-yearolds did the same.
The poll was conducted between January 7-11 with a sampling error of 2.9 percentage points.