April 14, 2010
Wesley Burt

Poll Finds a Rise in the Number of Oklahomans Worried About Terrorist Attack

A poll commissioned by MIPT finds three out of four Oklahomans believe a terrorist attack in the U.S. is likely in the next few months. When asked �how likely do you believe it is the United States will experience a terrorist attack in the next few months,� 75.4 percent of Oklahomans answered with some degree of likelihood.

These results show a 13.8 percent increase in Oklahomans worried that the U.S. will soon experience a terrorist attack since the MIPT commissioned survey asked Oklahomans the same question one year ago.

�The last six months have proven a test of homeland security efforts. The failed Christmas Day shoe bomber, coupled with the warning from the CIA and National Intelligence Directors of a pending attack, has captured the attention of many Oklahomans,� MIPT Executive Director David Cid said.

The MIPT poll conducted by on February 25 - March 8, 2010, is the second survey in two years organized to gauge statewide public opinion regarding the threat of terrorism and extremism.

Who Is Likely to Commit a Terrorist Attack

The survey also showed an increase in respondents who believe Islamic extremists to be the most likely group to commit an act of terrorism in the next six months. Results of the poll conducted last year showed that 60.3 percent of respondents were worried about the Islamic extremist threat. In one year that figure has increased 10.7 points to 71.4 percent of respondents.

  • 47.2 percent of respondents answered foreign-based Islamic extremists, and
  • 24.2 percent stated domestic Islamic extremists. (2010 survey responses)

Right or Left

Most voters viewed Islamic-based terror groups as the most likely source of a future terror attack. However, the share of respondents who viewed domestic ideological terror groups as the most likely source of an attack declined, though concerns about home-grown ideological terror activities persist.

  • 4.1 percent answered radical or left-wing extremists (such as eco-terrorists; anti-corporate extremists; or non-white, raced-based extremists). (2010 survey responses)
  • 8.8 percent answered reactionary or right-wing extremists (such as white supremacists groups; paramilitary or militia groups; or anti-abortion extremists). (2010 survey responses)

Most Oklahomans believe that the security measures the federal government has put into place since 9/11 are in balance with privacy laws. The survey results found that 35.3 percent of respondents questioned believe the security measures are in balance while 43.9 percent believe more security measures are needed. Only 14.5 percent of Oklahomans feel that security measures have gone too far.

[box] Click here to view�the 2010 MIPT commissioned SoonerPoll Toplines and Crosstabs

Click here to view�the 2009 MIPT commissioned SoonerPoll Toplines and Crosstabs [/box]

The survey, conducted by from February 25 through March 5, had a sample size of 1,000 likely voters. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. These results were compared to results of a similar study conducted by between April 23 and April 26,2009, which used live interviews by telephone of 318 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percent.

Wesley Burt
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Wesley Burt