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17 September 2009

Negative public opinion an early warning signal for terrorism

from Counter Jihad by Chris

An analysis of public opinion polls and terrorist activity in 143 pairs of countries has shown for the first time that when people in one country hold negative views toward the leadership and policies of another, terrorist acts are more likely to be carried out.

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger and co-author Jitka Malec(ková of Charles University in the Czech Republic have found that there is a strong relationship between attitudes expressed toward a foreign country -- indicated in surveys on foreign leaders' performance -- and the occurrence of terrorism against that country. The research is detailed in the Sept. 18 issue of the journal Science.

"Public opinion appears to be a useful predictor of terrorist activity," said Krueger, the Bendheim Professor in Economics and Public Policy. He has held a joint appointment since 1987 in Princeton's Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "This is the first study to relate public opinion across countries to concrete actions such as terrorism," he added.

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