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Pew Research Center: United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

September 1, 2011


The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press indicates that the American public generally views the government's response to terrorism favorably, yet fewer than half of those surveyed  believe that government policies have prevented another major attack on the United States.

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the country in a major way.

Yet the public continues to be divided over many of the anti-terrorism policies that arose in the wake of Sept. 11, and these differences extend to opinions about whether U.S. wrongdoing prior to 9/11 may have motivated the attacks: 43 percent say yes, while 45 percent disagree. In late September 2001, 33 percept said U.S. wrongdoing might have motivated the attacks, compared with 55 percent who said it did not.

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