US army patrol
© AFPUS Army patrols Grand Central Terminal, New York City
The percentage of people in the United States who are concerned about terrorism has risen to the level it was in the weeks following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new poll.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans say a terrorist attack is "very or somewhat likely in the next few months," according to the New York Times/ CBS News poll released Thursday. It was 78 percent in late September 2001. Following the attacks by in Paris and in San Bernardino, California, 19 percent of registered voters view the threat of terrorism as the top issue facing the country. Forty-four percent of the public says an attack is "very" likely to happen in the next few months, the most in New York Times or CBS News polls since October 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks.

The poll also found that 70 percent of Americans now call the ISIL terrorist group a major threat to US security and believe the fight against the group is going badly. The US public has little faith in President Barack Obama's handling of terrorism and the threat from ISIL, with 55 percent of Americans disapproving of his handling of terrorism.

Despite the widespread fear among Americans, there have been few foreign-directed terrorist attacks in the United States in the past decade. American security officials have also repeatedly said that there is no credible evidence of planning for a large-scale attack in the United States by ISIL or its supporters.

Perceptions about another terrorist attack are also shaping how Americans feel about the direction of the country over all.

Just 24 percent say the country is headed in the right direction, the lowest figure in a New York Times or CBS News survey in more than two years.

More than half of the public, 53 percent, say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the US government and another 31 percent say they are angry with Washington.