The more that American students learn about terrorism, the the smaller they perceive the threat to be to themselves and to the United States.

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This is really interesting. I taught a senior level class on terrorism this year and even after 20 years of the war on terror, myths about the patterns, causes, and motivations of terrorism persist. Really wish I had done a pre-test/post-test on my students perceptions. Maybe next time. I actually wrote my dissertation on fear of terrorism as a phenomenon largely created by the media. There are many factors that influence the likelihood of someone being worried or afraid of terrorism, and in my research I found that people who listen to conservative talk radio are more likely to worry about terrorism (controlling for political affiliation and other background characteristics). Conversely, people who listen to NPR are more likely to worry about mass shootings. So much of what people “know” about terrorism is really just media soundbites or political rhetoric.


Domestic right wing terrorism is a bigger threat to the US than any other form of terrorism but for some reason it’s ignored. Edit: some people are actually offended that I mentioned right wing terrorism or they’re downright defending it Edit2: the lengths people go to deny or defend right wing terrorism is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.


The paper’s abstract cites the small number of (“presuming”) “non-combat” related deaths in the US from terrorist attacks since 2001, an average of 23 per year.


I can certainly say that foreign terrorism does not pose an existential threat to our country in my mind. But 9/11 was very significant so still a large threat. But domestic terrorism and conservatives sliding even more to the right is a much bigger concern on my mind. Those, to me, are existential threats. The 2020 election and follow up January 6th attempted coup was the single biggest threat to our democracy I’ve ever seen in my life time.


This is completely dependent on how terrorism is defined. In fact, rioting is committing violence to further a political goal, but this is not considered terrorism? Seems like a grey area to me based on who is defining it. FBI definition of domestic terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.