From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
Today’s Important Message: You Should Not Live in Fear.
Are Americans safer from Islamist terror? We sure as heck don’t feel that way.
The nation is on edge in the wake of brutal beheadings of journalists by Islamic extremists — with more Americans saying the United States is less safe now than at any point since 9/11, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll shows.
The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe.
Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, seems less concerned. On Monday, he declared on CNN’s New Day that the United States doesn’t have intelligence indicating there are any active plans for a terrorist attack ahead of the 9/11 anniversary. “No, we don’t have any information about credible planning for an attack,” Royce said.
“Any time you get around a major anniversary in the minds of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, that can be a time of increased concern and intelligence monitoring,” said Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “We know they’re so fixated and obsessed on those particular dates. Given that it’s coming up on 9/11, we know there are operational activities, both al-Qaeda and this new threat matrix of all these al-Qaeda affiliates. Some have aspirations to do Western attacks, some have capabilities to do Western attacks, all of that just makes the challenge all the more difficult for the agencies we charge with stopping terror attacks.”
If you’re feeling anxiety . . . don’t.
Not because the threat isn’t real, but because you are not meant to live in fear. There have been 4,747 days since 9/11. In that time, the bad guys have managed a few hits but only a handful on the home front. Fort Hood. The Boston Marathon bombing. The LAX counter shooting. The Arkansas recruiting office shooting.
They’ve also had some near-misses: The underwear bomber flying into Detroit. The 2010 Times Square bombing attempt.
If you’re living outside the homeland, you’re at a higher risk, but again, for most of those 4,747 days, the good guys have kept the bad guys bottled up or stymied.
The odds are in your favor today, and every day. A lot of dedicated men and women are working around the clock to keep you safe. There’s not much left for us to do, other than point out an unattended bag or if we see someone behaving suspiciously, tell a cop.
That NBC News/WSJ poll also found:
According to the poll, 61 percent of American voters believe that the United States taking military action against ISIS is in United States’ interest, versus 13 percent who don’t. (Another 24 percent said they don’t know enough to have an opinion.)
That’s a significant change when a similar question was asked last year about the U.S. taking possible action against Syria’s government after its reported use of chemical weapons.
Back then, only 21 percent said action was in the nation’s interest, while 33 percent said it wasn’t.