(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States foresee an act of terrorism taking place on U.S. soil in the next year, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 69 per cent of respondents think an attack carried out by foreigners is likely to happen, while 58 per cent feel foresee an act of terrorism carried out by Americans.

In April 1995, a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. Timothy McVeigh was convicted of 11 federal offences—including use of a weapon of mass destruction and first-degree murder—and sentenced to death. McVeigh was executed in June 2001.

In November 2009, 13 people were killed and 30 more were wounded when a gunman opened fire inside Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military base in the world. The suspected gunman was identified as Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist and a Muslim.

Earlier this year, nine people thought to be members of a Michigan Christian militia group called Hutaree were arrested for their alleged involvement in a plot to kill various police officers, and a group called Guardians of the free Republics sent letters to all U.S. governors, warning them to leave office within three days or be removed.

National Intelligence director Dennis Blair discussed the current state of affairs, saying, "Thus far, radicalization of groups and individuals in the United States has done more to spread jihadist ideology and generate support for violent causes overseas than it has produced terrorists targeting the homeland. (…) The tragic violence at Fort Hood last year underscores our concerns about the damage that even an individual or small number of home-grown extremists can do if they have the will and access."

Polling Data

How likely is it that each of the following events will happen in the next year?


Very likely / Moderately likely

Not too likely / Not likely at all

Not sure

A terrorist attack on U.S. soil carried out by foreigners




A terrorist attack on U.S. soil carried out by Americans




Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,005 American adults, conducted on Apr. 6 and Apr. 7, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)