US politics and public opinion tend to exaggerate the threat of terrorism in the United States beyond what is warranted by intelligence estimates, National Intelligence Council Chairman Gregory Treverton said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies conference on Friday.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States in which 2,996 people were killed, fewer than 100 Americans have been killed on US soil since as a result of terrorism.
"Understandably, the Middle East, ISIL [Daesh], terrorism, does go to the top of the list politically, even if — in some sense of broader national interests — I probably wouldn't put it there in terms of US interests in the world," Treverton stated at the conference on strategic intelligence.
"For all our concern about ISIL [Daesh], and I understand it, still the number of Americans killed by terrorism in the United States is a very small number," Treverton pointed out, adding that politically, terrorism "goes to the top of the list."
Recent Gallup polls have consistently shown terrorism and national security as being among the top five concerns for US citizens.
Following the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, US citizens ranked terrorism as their top concern, outpacing the economy and employment.