Large majority supports bill that would strip those with ties to terrorist organizations of U.S. citizenship.

The majority of people in the United States think their country could face a terrorist attack in the next year—either carried by foreigners or Americans—a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,016 American adults, three quarters of respondents (74%) say the U.S. could suffer a terrorist aggression carried by foreigners over the next 12 months. On the other hand, most people (56%) also believe fellow Americans could launch an attack on U.S. soil this year.

More than a third of Americans (36%) express “complete confidence” or “a lot of confidence” in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to avert a terrorist attack.

Slightly fewer respondents express confidence in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (30%), their own state police force (29%), or their local police force (26%) to prevent an act of terrorism.

A large majority of respondents (77%) are in favor of proposed legislation suggesting that all Americans affiliated with a foreign terrorist group be stripped of their U.S. citizenship. Most Americans (58%) strongly approve of this bill, which is currently being discussed in Congress.

Tracking Views on Terrorism

Compared to a similar Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in mid-April—before the May 1 car bombing attempt in Times Square—the proportion of Americans who fear there is a possibility of a terrorist attack being launched by foreigners in the next year has increased by five points to 74 per cent.

However, roughly the same proportion of respondents (58% in April, 56% in May) think American citizens could launch a terrorist attack on U.S. soil this year.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570

Methodology: From May 13 to May 14, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,016 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States.