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What Do Americans Think of the Likelihood of a Terrorist Attack Inside the U.S.?

By       Message Robert Morton       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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Author 26170
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Declassified Secrets appreciates the feedback received from the Poll we ran on our website ( Here's some interesting conclusions:

Yes- 27 (62% of respondents)
No- 12 (27% of respondents)

Chemical attack- 4 (9%)
Biological attack- 6 (13%)
Radiological "Dirty Bomb" attack- 3 (6%)
Traditional explosive attack (Dynamite, home-made or plastic explosives, C-4, etc.)- 19 (44%)
Nuclear attack- 0 (0%)
Cyber attack- 6 (13%)

Forty-three people responded to the Declassified Secrets Poll: Do you think terrorists will launch an attack inside the U.S. within one year from today (12/08)? If so, by what means?

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Results show that 62% of responders (R's) believe we will be attacked within a one year time frame, while 27% do not believe we will be. Analyzing the responses of the 62% of R's who believe an attack will come reveals the number one means of assault will be with traditional explosives (dynamite, home made or plastic explosives, C-4, etc.)-ranked at 44%. R's judged Cyber and biological strikes equally as the second most expected method- both ranked at 13%; chemical attack was their third supposed method- ranked at 9%; while a radiological or "dirty bomb" offensive was ranked at 6%.

No R's (0%) believe terrorists will detonate a nuclear device inside the U.S. within one year from 12/08.

This online poll has obvious flaws regarding representative sampling; i.e., too small of a sample (n) and unrepresentative sample (Visitors to this Blog only). It simply recorded how 43 online visitors to the Declassified Secrets Blog responded to the Poll question. However, I believe we can make some broad assumptions, conjectures that can be verified by further and more scientific polls:

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A majority of Americans taking this particlular Declassified Secrets Poll believes we will be attacked by terrorists inside our borders within one year from 12/08. Note: Thise result differs from more scientific polls on the topic (See below).

A sizable minority believe we will not be attacked within one year.

Many believe traditional weapons will be used: dynamite, home-made bombs, plastique explosives, etc.
A substantial minority believes a biological or Cyber attack is imminent.

A bit about Cyber attacks: I feel that any combinations of the other types of attacks coupled with a Cyber attack is being contemplated by terrorists. Suppose they planned in detail a biological attack in America's heartland and released the biological agent via airplane over a large midwestern city at 3am. It's winter time with subzero temperatures. They simultaneously hit computer and telecommunication networks controlling critical infrastructures. Our electric and gas power systems would be shut down, while traffic control systems and financial systems would be disabled.

It could be a multiple Cyber strike, coming directly "through the wires" by faraway hackers, along with a physical assault by suicide car bombers, and by sleeper cell "moles" working inside our critical infrastructure computer systems, thus having ready access to them.

Such a biological attack would horrify millions. Essential services would be cut off: electricity, telephone, natural gas, gasoline pumps, cash registers, ATM machines, Internet transactions, dam and flood control computerized systems, primary telecommunications trunk circuits connecting America's heartland with other regions, air traffic control systems resulting in the grounding of all air traffic and diverting of inbound traffic, e-commerce and credit card service...the list is endless!

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Few believe a chemical attack is imminent.

Even fewer believe a radioactive or "dirty bomb" will be used. Here's an excellent site on "dirty bombs:"


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I write about the 16 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). I am writing a Spy novel and am a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). The Blog I maintain has daily updated newspaper article about the IC. (more...)

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