Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Intelligence and National Security


Misty C. Duke


The following research aims to understand how individuals who were aware of, and affected by, terrorist attacks at the time they took place perceive the causes of terrorism and support security measures. It is hypothesized that the extent to which one â??witnessedâ?? attacks characterized by more traditional forms of terrorism, such as bombings and religiously motivated and affiliated perpetrators (Wave four), versus new forms of terrorism, such as shootings and lone wolves (Wave five), would be affected by the age of the witness. This research proposes an indirect pathway from age to "witnessing" terrorist attacks to attributions for the attacks to support for security measures that is moderated by political conservativism. An online survey was completed by 300 respondents of ages eighteen and over in the United Sates. Using the responses from the survey, two path models were tested, one regarding witnessing Wave four attacks and one regarding witnessing Wave five attacks. The proposed moderated mediation was not found. Additionally, there was no indirect effect of age on support for security measures. However, in the Wave five model, there was an indirect effect of witnessing a terrorist attack on support for security measures, through one's belief that a cause of fifth-wave terrorism is disagreement with U.S. policy. Additionally, the more a participant believed that one's background and upbringing, disagreement with U.S. Policy, and internet radicalization caused terrorist attacks, the more likely they were to support security measures for both Wave four and Wave five. The findings of the study could be significant to future policymaking from the potential implications of people who are likely to believe that factors such as life experiences, US policy, and internet radicalization are responsible for causing terrorist attacks. Policymakers can use this data to create appropriate legislature that creates security measures that addresses the concerns of vii those who believe factors such as life experiences, US policy, and internet radicalization cause terrorist attacks to occur.




Recieved from ProQuest

File Size


File Format


Rights Holder

Austin Trevor Sullivan