American Voters Still Concerned About Terrorism

By Big Peace | by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 @ 4:36AM

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Ten years after Muslim jihadists crashed passenger-filled planes into buildings symbolizing the United States leadership in finance and military power, Americans seem to finally understand the threat posed by jihad advocates. In addition to the worsening economy, many worry about the country’s national security, according to a telling online survey conducted last August by Tarrance Group.

The survey included 600 Florida and Missouri Generation-Y voters—young adults, 300 hundred from each state, ages 21 to 30, and mothers over 25 with kids under 18 living at home—identified as Democrats and Independents.

The majority of both groups think the U.S. is on the wrong track, and 39% of Gen-Y voters and 49% of the mothers expressed fear that they or their families would become victims “of a terrorist attack.”

The vast majority—74% of Gen-Y voters and 75% of moms—said the “economy and dollar” were the most important issues facing Congress. Virtually all expressed some concern for national security and “physical safety of family and friends.” Few remained unperturbed.

National Security: Asked to name specific national security threats, 74% of young voters and 82% of mothers said terrorists will “very likely” target U.S. air travel, roads or public transportation. Some 71% of young voters and 76% of mothers expect terrorists to target national security and banking electronic systems. Meanwhile, 61% of young voters and 68% of mothers anticipate terrorist bombings of U.S. financial and banking hubs. Respondents also worried about attacks on agriculture, food and water supplies, and externally launched missile attacks on one or more U.S. cities.

Foreign oil dependency: The majority (59%) of young voters, and an even larger number (70%) of their mothers expressed deep concern over U.S. dependency on foreign oil and strongly support oil and gas drilling in the U.S.

Terrorism: Some 41% of Gen-Y voters were also “very concerned” over “homegrown jihadist terrorists” in the U.S., while 57% of mothers echoed the same worried sentiments, Tarrance Group reported. This concern was based on roughly 30 attacks since 9/11 on U.S. soil by local jihadists, resulting in the killingof at least 49, as well as a myriad of thwarted homegrown jihadist attacks.

As reminder, among the many intercepted attacks, there was also a plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge in 2003; a Herald Square bomb plot in 2004; a plan to explode the Holland Tunnel and Chicago’s Sears Tower in 2006; a plot targeting Fort Dix in 2007; attacks aimed at New York synagogues, a Dallas skyscraper, and an Ohio plot to train Iraqi terrorists to kill U.S. troops.

The Iranian Threat: 44% of young voters noted great concern over Iran’snuclear weapons development, and 53% of mothers expressed their anxiety too. Not surprisingly, 35% of young voters and 45% of mothers also stated their worry over Iran’s increasingly close ties to Venezuela.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: Some 39% of young voters and 23% of mothers were familiar with and feared the threat of an EMP attack. Indeed, launching nuclear bombs from 100 miles offshore to explode 120 miles over the heartland would destroy the U.S. electrical grid and most computer chips in the lower 48 states. The ensuing nationwide electrical and electronic shutdown would disable water systems, transportation, medical devices, communications, security systems, banking, and sewage systems, among other things.

START: Only 17% of Gen-Y voters and 12% of mothers surveyed were familiar with the new American and Russian Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), ratified in February 2011. The new Treaty gives Russia a 10-1 advantage over the U.S. on the allowed number of tactical nuclear weapons (each one, six times or more as destructive as the Hiroshima bomb)—and requires the U.S. to obtain Russia’s permission before it may increase or improve missile defense capacity. Of young voters, 22% said the START treaty “strongly weakened” and 31% said it “weakened” the U.S. Among mothers, 28% said that START “strongly weakened” and 29% said it “weakened” the U.S.

Shari’a (Islamic Law): The Tarrance Group found 39% of Gen-Y voters and 54% of mothers “extremely concerned” about the potential application of shari’a in U.S. courts. “We should have nothing to do with Islam[ic] shari’a,” said one young man, adding, “It is not part of our country and culture.” A young Democrat echoed his sentiments: “Muslim law should not be recognized in the courts in the U.S.” There was a general consensus that recognizing shari’a could conceivably change or erode U.S. law.

Of 220 young adult voters, 37% were “extremely concerned” about U.S. court recognition of shari’a over U.S. law, 68 thought it “un-American” (31%); 51 said the Constitution superseded shari’a law (23%); and 40 disagreed with or didn’t understand shari’a (18%). Others were opposed, saying it would violate U.S. separation of church and state, promote terrorism and violence in the U.S., make way for discriminatory laws, violate Christian/Western values, and establish multiple legal systems.

Those surveyed knew less about the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Only 31% of Gen-Y voters and just 27% of moms were “familiar” with the MB. However, after hearing a factual description of Muslim Brotherhood history and their organizational heirs, 31% of young voters and 44% of mothers disagreed or strongly disagreed with U.S. plans to talk to the MB, even in countries where they hold political strength.

The general media has ignored this survey despite the clear indication that the harsh economic situation and the growing security threats are narrowing the gap in the country’s traditional political divide. The survey also shows that when Americans are informed, they worry not only about fiscal stability, but also threats to national security.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is director of NY based American Center for Democracyand its Economic Warfare Institute. She is the author of “Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed –  and How to Stop It.”

Categories: Middle East Conflicts, Muslim Brotherhood, U.S. Policy

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