9/11 a decade later: Most Americans now expect it to happen again
As most Americans pause at least a moment Sunday to remember 9/11/2001 and what they were doing on that deadly day that so fundamentally scarred the national psyche, an overwhelming majority have also told pollsters they think another mass attack will happen again before 9/11/2021.
Americans now believe that Al Qaeda as a global terrorist organization is weaker today, thanks to the extermination in May of Osama bin Laden and the less noticed elimination of hundreds of his associates by various violent means in recent years.
This year 50% of Americans say they believe Al Qaeda is weaker. That's double the percentage who thought that the previous two autumns.
Although, interestingly, a third (32%) still think the disparate terror group has managed to maintain its strength. Understandable. What's your first thought when you see an airliner low over any downtown?
However, according to this weekend's fresh Rasmussen Reports survey, despite all the country's sometimes controversial enhanced security precautions, a substantial majority of Americans (61%) still believe a similar-scale attack is at least somewhat likely to occur on the homeland during the next 10 years.
This includes nearly a third of Americans (29%) who think such a deadly repeat assault is very likely.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos, from top: Sunrise on Sept. 13, 2001, on the U.S. Capitol and the damaged Pentagon; New York City 9/11 smoke plume as seen from the International Space Station, 250 miles altitude. Credits: Luke Frazza / AFP /Getty Images; Frank Culbertson / NASA.