The Major Concern as an American on Terrorism

blog Aug 29, 2023
The Major Concern as an American on Terrorism

          The major concerns that the United States population has about terrorism are not easily explained since we as Americans have struggled with the definition of terrorism. The “truism ‘one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter’ is a significant factor in the definitional debate.” (Martin, 2016, pg. 23) According to the Gallup poll that came out on December 14, 2015, “about one in six Americans, 16%, now identifies terrorism as the most important U.S. problem, up from just 3% in early November. This is the highest percentage of Americans to mention terrorism in a decade, although it is still lower than the 46% measured after 9/11.” (Riffkin, 2015)

          Though the concerns are backed up, Americans still do not view it as a major concern. Some sources state that overpopulation is a concern whereas others speak about poverty, stress, and the government. Anyone at any time can research the net, as I did, and you’ll find the major American concerns as everything, even immigration, and healthcare, but you will seldom find a concern with terrorism. Americans move on quickly from their problems to focus on daily television shows and unless the problem of terrorism hits close to home, most Americans are not worried about it. The major concern with terrorism is the privacy versus security concern. How much of my privacy must I give the government to feel safe?

          Americans are proud of our past and how much we have fought for freedom. When it comes to our privacy, we get a little feisty. The issue of government and our privacy “flared again [this week] when a federal court ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in December.” (Rainie and Maniam, 2016) We are more concerned about the concerns that any terror safety measures will take on our private lives than our safety. The American Terrorist concern is more “that anti-terror programs had gone too far in restricting civil liberties (47%) rather than not far enough in protecting the country (35%).” (Rainie and Maniam, 2016)

          Americans need to not focus on the simple media concept that terrorism comes from some Muslim group and start focusing on the cyber and national infrastructure terroristic threat. More and more we desperately live by our computers and cellular phones. Everything we do is now web-based and if the power grid goes as it did in New York City and the entire Northeast Coast, we will have a national calamity. “The theft of national security information from a government agency or the interruption of electrical power to a major metropolitan area obviously would have greater consequences for national security, public safety, and the economy than the defacement of a website.” (Watson, 2002) Terrorism should be a major concern to Americans but until it hits close to home I believe it will remain irrelevant. I hope we start to take it as seriously as the country of Israel.



Martin, G. (2016). Understanding terrorism: Challenges, perspectives, and issues (5th ed.). Thousand

Oaks: Sage Publications.

Rainie, L., & Maniam, S. (2016, February 19). Americans feel the tensions between privacy and security

concerns. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from


Riffkin, R. (2015, December 14). Americans Name Terrorism as No. 1 U.S. Problem. Retrieved October

15, 2016, from


Watson, D. L. (2002, February 06). Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Retrieved

October 15, 2016, from