Contact information:

Christopher Wolfe, PhD, psychology, christopher.wolfe@saintleo.edu

Eloy Nuñez, PhD, homeland security, eloy.nunez@saintleo.edu

The most recent survey results from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute results were so compelling on American fears resulting from the terror attacks in Paris that the subject warrants extended commentary from Saint Leo faculty experts. A few findings from the national results, collected from more than 1,000 adults:

Those who agree somewhat or strongly that they are “concerned about terrorism when attending large public events” were reported at 61.8 percent.
More than three-quarters, at 78.2 percent, strongly or somewhat agree that “It is likely ISIS terrorists are hiding among Syrian and other refugees in order to enter Europe and the United States.”
Two-thirds, at 66.9, percent agree strongly or somewhat with “a pause in accepting Syrian refugees into the United States until additional FBI background checks and approvals are added to the current screening process.”
Half, at 51.1 percent, disagree strongly or somewhat that “the U.S. and Americans have an obligation to accept Syrian refugees.” The cumulative percent of those who agree with the notion of an obligation was 39 percent.

Individual Worries About Homeland Targets

Dr. Eloy Nuñez, who teaches law enforcement and justice students about homeland security, noted the relatively high percent of people who feel uneasy about going to big events for fear of some kind of an attack.

There are no easy answers to that, apparently.

Dr. Nuñez noted that big events that attract lots of television coverage—say like a Super Bowl game—have been desirable targets for terrorists because they want broad spectrums of the public to become audiences to traumatizing events. On the other hand, Dr. Nuñez said, the security at such venues has become rigorous, and better able to repel threats. That can make terrorists […]