August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo's campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

"This shows that we mean business," said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. "There's no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us."

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would "cause a worldwide economic collapse." recorded his comments.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," Tancredo said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack."

Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN's Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." Tancredo was widely criticized in 2005 for making a similar suggestion.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. LisaM, Sparks, NV

    Tancredo's suggestions are absolutely insane, and the rational part of me wants nothing to do with them. However, the idea of bombing holy sites in Mecca if we are subjected to a major attack holds a certain emotional appeal for me. But then reason kicks in again, knowing that such a move wouldn't accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.

    August 3, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Sharon, Kitty Hawk, NC

    Tancredo has the right idea here. Bomb them where it hurts.

    August 3, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Speechless

    If no one told me Mr Tancredo is from Colorado, USA, judging by his comments, I would think he is of an extremist mentality from the hills of the Taliban!!

    August 3, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. New York

    What is it with the democrats lately, are they trying to show they have as much gumption as GWB.

    August 3, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Luisa, PA

    What Mr. Tancredo and others who think this is a good idea fail to realize is that Muslim Extremists don't think the way we do. We're talking about people who still believe in an eye for an eye and will cut the hand off a person who steals. So, we bomb their holy sites and we're propelled into the WWIII only this time forget about doing battle on a battle field. We're all fair game. Don't make idol threats. You're not in a parent-child relationship. There is a reason why we call these people TERRORists. Duh!

    August 3, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Kevin, Cleveland, Ohio

    Ask yourself these questions. If your city or a city where your family was located is hit by a nuclear terrorist attack what would your reaction be? Turn the other cheek? If the threat of a retaliatory nuclear attack was good enough for the cold war why not now? Do you think other Muslims would harbor terrorist so freely if they knew what the cost would be? It gives me hope to hear common sense from a politician.

    August 3, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. John Hightower, Chicago Illinois

    He is not an idiot or insane. These people are not "politically correct" or "civilized". I think his comments were right on and should go as a warning to Islamic Fundamentalists that if you dare to attack us again on our soil we'll level your holiest of holy sites. We should have nuked them after 9/11. Our country has lost its backbone. That's why these cowards know that they can get away with these dastardly terrorist attacks. I can tell you if Harry Truman was president in 2000 there would be no threat from Al Queda or other Islamic Fundalmentalist movements. They would be gone. There needs to be some policing from the good members of the Islam faith to take care of these zealots who are ruining their religion. Here at home we need to clean house and ban these lobbyist groups from Washington. No more dependance on foreign oil, free up the alternative energy patents seized by these oil conglomorates and remove all people who have ties into these industries. America, Grow a pair!

    August 3, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. John, Tucson, AZ

    Shame on Tancredo and people like him for not showing respect for other peoples and religions.

    August 3, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Scott, Austin, Tx

    This is absolutely insane. To me, it sounds like he is advocating a Holy War. The problem the Islamic world has with the United States is our foreign policy. It makes me cringe to think that a man with those types of ideas is even being considered to be the leader of this country.

    August 3, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Kelly San Francisco CA

    That view is pretty extreme. But i'll tell you what, if these muslim extremist start blowing up themselves with dirty bombs inside the US and killing innocent Americans, we will have to do something, and whatever it is better be extreme.

    August 3, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. James, Louisville, Kentucky

    Yes, Mecca is in Saudi Arabia, a very god ally to the US. And How would bombing Mecca make the US any safer?! Does he think every Muslim will sit idly while we bomb Mecca?!

    August 3, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Ed, Lebanon, IN


    Although, in my opinion, he doesn't go far enough.

    Let's fight the terrorists with WMD just like they wish to fight us...

    1 Improvised Weapon Death = 20 sq. Km of glass covered parking lot. A fair exchange.

    August 3, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Jeff, Hollywood, CA.

    To the American Christian Jihadist that spoke earlier...

    If we are a "christian nation," tell me which of the 40,000 denominations are we affiliated with? I'm curious.

    I hate to say it, but Christ wouldn't be having this discussion. All you "tough" Americans pervert Christ's message through the credibility of your respective "churches." You have no idea what you're talking about. But obviously, no GOP representative does. You all hide behind the Bible instead of reading it. Cowards. It's impulsive, ignorant, trigger-happy people like you that will get us all killed.

    August 3, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Natlus, NYC, NY

    I can see that Tom is a bigot. I am ashammed to have him as our one of our congressman. Bombing some religious landmarks does not solve the problem. The problem needs to resolved by determining what is the root behind the problem/s.

    August 3, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Jeff Clover

    I think Mr. Tancredo comment about attacking Muslim Holy sites was absurd. That will not be a deterrent, it will only add fuel to the fire. It sounds like Mr. Tancredo is making this comment out of pure hatred for Muslims.

    August 3, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Luis Vega

    Completamente irracional y peligroso. No es presidenciable.
    Completly irrational and dangerous. He is presidential material.

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Deb, Parker, CO

    best bumper sticker I've seen... "TOM TANCREDO IS A FRUITCAKE"

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Isaac Beadle, Calgary, Canada

    Anyone who supports this is clearly ignorant, highly uneducated, and more than like In-Bred!
    Maybe the US should destroy all of the sacred monuments of white rednecks in retalliation to the Timothy McVeigh's of the world.

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Mike Plano Texas

    Tom Casey considers Tancredo's comments "reprehensible" and "absolutley crazy"? I think Tancredo is the only politician who has to date provided any concrete evidence that he understands how to deal with terrorisim. It's obvious that todays policies of dealing with the threat is completly ineffective.

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Kevin-Chantilly Va

    I'm voting for HIM!!

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. adnan sweden

    Simply he is Mental with No Brain. He don't know what he is saying. If he becomes president then World Vs USA .
    usa will see punishment very soon Amen.

    August 3, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Jason Porter


    I was thinking too, instead of invading a country and then spending billions to occupy it. Why not just send a 100 missles from an Air conditioned control room and only hit military installations of the goverment we're having problems with - dont hurt any of the people. And just leave it at that...they can rebuild their army (and thats fine) but if they get out of line we just bomb their miliary again...and again if nessesary - but leave the people out of it and leave our troops out of no-win occupations.

    August 3, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Alan, Salt Lake City, UT

    Tom Tancredo should be the last person to represent this country. This would not be a deterrent at all. I think the extremists would say: "Bring it on", knowing full well it would bring thousands, if not millions to their cause. What a complete and utter idiot!

    August 3, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Peter Arc

    Are you sure you weren't quoting Deputy Dawg or the Warner Brothers character that used to chase the roadrunner? It's one thing to mean business but another to be just plain dumb.

    August 3, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Bob Ramos, Corpus Christi, TX

    About half of the world is Mulim. A very good large part of that is hard working, decent, religious folks. They hold Mecca and Medina sacred. The rest are insane people that would welcome an attack by us on Mecca and/or Medina. If we were to do as Tom Tancredo recommends, one country would have to battle many countries without allies. No American would be safe outside of the USA.

    August 3, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66