NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new CBS News poll found that concerns about a terror attack have risen – and that more respondents are worried about poor anti-terrorism laws than civil liberties.

Following terror attacks overseas – including in Paris and Beirut on Nov. 13 and Mali last week – Americans’ concerns about a terror attack in the U.S. have risen, with 69 percent believing an attack is at least somewhat likely.

The figure is the highest since May 2011 after Osama bin Laden was killed, and 3 percent higher than just after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.

The highest level of all came in an Oct. 2001 poll, following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when 88 percent of respondents expected another terror attack in the U.S. in the next few months.

Fourteen percent of respondents in the new poll now say terrorism is the most important problem facing the country, while only 2 percent agreed with the statement two weeks ago, the poll said. Terrorism is now outranked only by the economy and jobs.

Meanwhile, approval of how President Barack Obama is handling the threat of terrorism has dropped to an all-time low of 36 percent, with 66 percent of Americans believing Obama does not have a clear plan for dealing with ISIS, the poll said.

And for the first time in CBS News polls, Americans are more concerned that the government will fail to enact strong anti-terrorism laws – at 46 percent – than about the government restricting civil liberties – at 40 percent.

Americans are divided on whether Syrian refugees should be allowed into the U.S. – with 47 percent saying they should be allowed with a screening process and 50 percent saying they should not be allowed at this time. But 78 percent of respondents said Syrian refugees should go through a stricter screening process than they do now.

Support for sending troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS has also ticked up, and 63 percent of Americans believe ground troops will be necessary to defeat ISIS. But only 44 percent think the U.S. should take a lead role in confronting ISIS.


Leave a Reply