(NEW YORK) -- Confidence in the country’s safety from terrorism has rebounded sharply in the past year to near its highs, with most Americans expressing satisfaction with the steps the country’s taken in response to 9/11. But there are two major exceptions: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Overall, support for the country’s response is broad, albeit not deep. Sixty-seven percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll are satisfied with the way the United States has responded to the attacks, and 64 percent think the country is safer now than it was before 9/11, up sharply from its low -- 48 percent -- a year ago.
Still, likely reflecting the continued sense of risk, far fewer think the country is “much” safer -- 26 percent -- or are “very” satisfied with the U.S. response -- 18 percent.
The two boldest and costliest actions taken by the United States, moreover, are controversial. This poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds that just 52 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has been effective at reducing the risk of terrorism, and fewer than half -- 46 percent -- say the war in Iraq made the U.S. safer from terrorist attacks.
Larger majorities, however, say a variety of other actions -- from enhanced airport security to increased wiretap and surveillance efforts to the killing of Osama bin Laden this spring -- have been effective at reducing the threat of future terrorism.
It is worth noting that the results of this latest poll come as a new possible terror threat against major U.S. cities has been uncovered. According to intelligence officials, the CIA has developed information indicating that at least three individuals entered the county in August by air with the intent to launch a vehicle-borne attack against Washington, D.C. or New York around the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Officials say the alleged terror plot was initiated by new al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's successor, who had pledged to avenge bin Laden's death earlier this year in a U.S. raid.
In light of the threat, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Thursday that security measures would be ramped up across the city as it prepares for the anniversary of the attacks this Sunday.
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