Americans feel imminent threat inside and outside the United States based on the latest survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos. The survey asked approximately 3,000 Americans on what or whom they consider as the biggest threats to themselves or the country.
In fact, the survey found that Americans feel imminent threat not only from terrorists, but also from political leaders including North Korean President Kim Jong-un, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and even U.S. President Barack Obama.
Putin seen as slightly more imminent threat than Obama
Based on the survey, Twenty-one percent (21%) of Americans who participated in the survey considered Pres. Putin as an imminent threat to the United States
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It is reasonable that Americans think Pres. Putin is a threat because of his constant criticism of the United States and a vocal statement that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons. In fact, he called Pres. Obama and the United States “puppet masters.”
On the other hand, 19% of the respondents think that Pres. Obama also poses an imminent threat to his country. Take note that the survey showed that 34% of Americans believe that Pres. Obama is no threat to the country. It is uncertain why some Americans perceive a threat from the President.
Americans are probably worried because Pres. Obama is not in good terms with Pres. Putin. Their relationship is currently under pressure because of Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Last year, the Obama administration added more Russian individuals and companies to its sanctions list. Obama previously compared Putin to a “bored kid in the back of a classroom.” The comment infuriated the Russian President.
Perhaps Americans are also worried about the decision of the Obama administration to provide logistics and intelligence support for Saudi Arabia. The ongoing nuclear deal with Iran is also a concern. Republican Senator Tom Cotton urged the Obama administration to walk away from the table since its negotiating partners already left.
Meanwhile, 32% of Americans think North Korea’s Pres. Kim Jong-un as an imminent threat. Take note that North Korea is a very poor country, and it depends on foreign aid to support its economy.
Why do Americans consider the North Korean leader as an imminent threat despite the extreme poverty of his country? Over the past several months, Pres. Kim Jong-un has been grabbing media attention due to several issues including his unique hairstyle, intention to launch merciless strikes on U.S. and South Korea, and efforts in strengthening North Korea’s relationship with Russia.
Most recently, Pres. Kim Jong-un expressed his desire for North Korea to participate in more sports events and to increase its focus on food production. Just like Russia, North Korea also stressed that it is ready for nuclear war any time.
In February, survey Gallup showed that Americans considered North Korea as the most unfavorable country and the second greatest enemy of the United States.
Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri number threat to US
Americans believe that Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri is the number one threat to the United States. Forty-three (43%) think that he poses an imminent threat to the country while 20% consider him as a serious threat.
The Al Qaeda network is the only Islamic terrorist group that made a successful attack on the United States. It is reasonable for Americans to consider al-Zawahiri as the top enemy of the country.
Islamic extremist, on-camera executioner Jihadi John was perceived by 38% of Americans as imminent threat to the United States.
In his article on Reuters, Peter Van Buren commented that the perception about Jihadi John “made less sense” because he is somewhere in Syria or Iraq. Jihadi John was shown to be involved in multiple beheadings in videos produced by ISIL, but he is afraid to reveal his face. U.S. Secretary of State described him as a “coward hiding behind the mask.”
Last February, the Washington Post reported that Jihadi John real name is Mohammed Emwazi, a British citizen. Last month, it was reported that Emwazi apologized to his family due to the” problems and trouble the revelation of his identity has caused” them.