Americans Still Cite Terrorism as Top Concern


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It's been over 12 years since the World Trade Center tower fell, yet terrorism still remains the top concern for Americans when considering threats to their country.

New Gallup poll results out today show that 77% of U.S. adults believe international terrorism is a critical threat to the vital interests of the U.S. Another 19% consider terrorism to be an important, but not critical threat to the U.S. Other threats that a majority of those surveyed consider critical include Iran developing nuclear weapons (76%), Islamic fundamentalism (57%), the conflict between North and South Korea (53%), and the economic power of China (52%).

Though fears of terrorism and Iran's nuclear program remain high, Americans have come to recently view both issues as slightly less critical to the U.S. That 76% who believe Iranian nukes are critically important are down from the 83% who thought the same thing last year - more than even the 81% who considered terrorism a critical threat in 2013. This, less than one year after the Boston Marathon bombings rocked the U.S. with another incident of domestic terrorism.

While terrorism concerns have fallen slightly since last year, concerns about Islamic fundamentalism have jumped in recent years. Gallup's survey in 2013 found 53% of Americans considered Islamic fundamentalism a critical threat, and even that was up from the 51% who stated the same in 2004.

In its blog post Gallup pointed out that terrorism and nuclear weapons have consistently appeared as top U.S. threat concerns over the past decade. The polling firm, however, steers clear of addressing the irony of Americans considering nuclear weapons, religious zealots, and economic superpowers some of the most critical threats to their country.