WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States made the right decision to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to an online poll on www.reuters.com on Monday that also gives President Barack Obama a boost.
U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday, bringing a dramatic end to the long manhunt for the man who was the most powerful symbol of Islamist militancy.
Seventy-nine percent who participated in the poll said Washington made the right decision to kill bin Laden, compared with 14 percent who said no and 7 percent who were not sure.
But only 25 percent said they felt safer after the death of the al Qaeda leader, compared with 59 percent who said they did not.
Obama got a fair amount of credit for killing bin Laden, with 37 percent saying he deserved the most credit, while 13 percent said his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, should get the credit. Some 50 percent said neither should get credit for the raid.
A slim majority of respondents, or 51 percent, said bin Laden's killing had not changed their perception of Obama's leadership. But 29 percent said it made them feel more favorable to him and 13 percent said they now feel much more favorable. Seven percent said the killing made them feel less so.
Forty-three percent voted that Obama is handling the war on terrorism effectively, compared with 26 percent who said he was handling it ineffectively. Thirty-one percent said they were not sure.
The poll questions were each answered by some 1,200 to 1,300 U.S. and foreign readers of Reuters.com.
(Writing by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Philip Barbara)