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September 25, 2013

UMass Lowell poll: More Americans worried about terrorism since Marathon boimbings

LOWELL - Nearly two-thirds of Americans are more concerned about a terrorist attack in the United States since the Boston Marathon bombings in April and believe the threat of terrorism has increased in the last decade, according to a new national poll by UMass Lowell.

Half of those surveyed say the bombings made them think the United States is too involved in the affairs of other countries, according to the poll, released yesterday at the opening event for the university’s new Center for Terrorism and Security Studies. The event, “New Security Challenges,” also included news that more than $1 million in research grants has been awarded to the center by the National Institute of Justice.

The program, which drew approximately 200 representatives of the counterterrorism, law enforcement and academic communities to the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, featured Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis; Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center; Vincent Lisi, special agent in charge, FBI Boston Division; Roger Cressey, a UMass Lowell graduate and former National Security Council deputy for counterterrorism whose U.S. government roles included managing the responses to the Sept. 11 and USS Cole attacks; and Andrea Cabral, Massachusetts secretary of public safety. UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences sponsored the event.

Associate Prof. Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, presented the results of the poll at the program.

“Opinions about security and terrorism have been deeply impacted by the events of 2013. Despite the belief by a majority of Americans that the threat of terrorism has grown in the last 10 years, they are conflicted over how much of their privacy they are willing to give up to fight the war on terror, an issue brought to the forefront by the revelation the National Security Agency collects data on telephone and Internet activity,” he said.

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