Americans fear ‘homegrown’ terrorists more than foreign: Poll claims

Quinnipiac Poll suggests that Americans see homegrown terrorists as bigger threat than Foreign-born Terrorists

Around 58 percent of American voters think homegrown terrorists are the greater threat than foreign-national extremists, according to a recent national poll released by Quinnipiac University national poll.

The poll was taken in the same week as the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Americans are far more concerned about the threat from within, homegrown terrorists, than they are about someone being welcomed to the U.S. as a refugee and committing an act of terror,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a news release.

Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. voters think the gravest threat from radical Islam comes from within, according to the Poll. About 58 percent say that homegrown jihadists are America’s most likely terrorism danger.

Another 16 percent said the most likely threat is radical Islamists infiltrating the U.S. as Syrian refugees.

Opinions on security screening for refugees depended on how much voters know, Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said.

“It takes time and meticulous vetting to be accepted as a Syrian refugee,” he said in a written statement. “Voters who know that are far more accepting than those who may not understand the process.”

The poll also found that 83 percent think a major terrorist attack in the U.S. is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” in the near future.

About 61 percent said that government anti-terror policies were not adequate national security measures.

Just 27 percent believed the government had restricted too many civil liberties fighting extremism.

The majority of Americans still oppose admitting Syrian refugees within the nation’s borders, however. Fifty-two percent oppose that idea, while 42 percent support it.

The same survey found 52 percent of American voters were opposed to letting Syrian refugees into the U.S. Among political lines: 68 percent of Democrats would accept refugees, while 84 percent of Republicans would oppose it. Independent voters were divided as 46 percent support accepting refugees while 49 percent opposed the idea.

The survey also found 6 out of every 10 people said they worried the government wasn’t going far enough to protect them against terrorism.

Quinnipiac University conducted its latest sampling of 1,453 registered voters nationwide via cell and landline phones from Nov. 23 to Nov. 26. The poll has a 2.6 percent margin of error.

Courtesy: IRIA

Recommended For You

About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International