A new poll reveals that a striking number of Americans believes that the United States is less than safe now it was before the September 11th attacks. The recently released NBC News/WSJ poll says that 47 percent of respondents fear that the United States is more susceptible to terrorist attack now, which is a post-9/11 high.
That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe. The level of fear across America also is up substantially from last year when 28% felt the same way."
A remaining 52 percent was evenly split between those who feel the country is more safe or about the same.
The poll pointed directly the recent developments centered around ISIS, the radical Sunni group in Iraq and Syria, which has gained considerable ground over the past few months and, most alarmingly, beheaded two American journalists within the past month. The beheadings, in terms of public consciousness, shattered previous highs for news stories of the past five years with 94 percent of people saying that they had heard of the executions.
That includes the 2011 debt-ceiling debate (77 percent), the 2012 health-care decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (78 percent), Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons in 2013 (79 percent) and this year’s botched execution in Oklahoma (68 percent).
This doesn't include the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden.
The results dovetail with a suddenly strong approval for military action against ISIS (61 percent) along with an all-time low approval of President Obama's foreign policy (32 percent).
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.