Americans favor tough new anti-terrorist measures, including military strikes, to combat attacks against international flights, but most say poor airplane maintenance is a greater threat, a poll has found.
The national Media General-Associated Press survey found that a majority backed U.S. military strikes against countries that support terrorists only if the support were proved and innocent civilians were not killed.The poll found opinion sharply divided on whether military retaliation would deter terrorists or spur them. But a majority said the government can stem terrorism, and 57 percent said it is not doing enough now.
The survey of 1,162 adults had a 3-point margin of error. It was conducted Jan. 4-12, after a terrorist bomb downed Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland, killing 270 people.
Even with their support for tougher security and disclosure by airlines of threats, respondents did not view terrorism as the chief danger to air travelers. A solid 64 percent said inadequate maintenance poses a greater danger, while just 24 percent chose terrorism as the greater hazard. Twelve percent had no opinion.