The Age

By Dan Oakes

ALMOST two-thirds of Australians believe the ''war on terror'' will never end, while only a tiny percentage believe that terrorism is the biggest challenge facing the nation, a survey has found.

The survey, conducted by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, also found that almost a third of Australians believe the US either entirely or largely provoked the terrorist attacks in September 11, 2001.

More than 2000 Australians and 900 Americans were questioned for the survey, conducted shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces.

The death of bin Laden could at least partly explain the finding that only 4 per cent of Australians surveyed and 3 per cent of Americans believed terrorism is the most important problem facing their country.

Possibly the most surprising finding was that 31 per cent of Australians and 22 per cent of Americans believe the September 11 attacks were provoked largely or entirely by US policies.