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. Lebisch, Washington, D.C.

    Rep. Tom Tancredo is absolutely correct in his statement. These are steps we should have taken years ago, after the first attack on Israel.

    August 3, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Mark C, Morehead City NC

    About half of the world is Mulim.

    Nowhere near half the world is Muslim. Where do you people get this stuff?

    Nevertheless, threatening to blow up Mecca and Medina is an unbelievably stupid idea. Most Muslims are in fact pretty moderate. If you want to unify 100% of them against us, just make a threat like this.

    August 3, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Harrisburg, Pa

    How can person that works in an occupation predicated on rhetoric survive while making such ludicrous remarks? Or does this message show the true (and ugly) sentiments of many Americans and we just don’t recognize that reality?

    August 3, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Conrad, Hampden, Maine

    This is as almost repulsive as it is disappointing. Just goes to show you how ignorant some people can be. Isn't there a law against that or something? And for those that claim to have faith, one would think they'd know that Mecca is also important to "us Christians" as a site where Abrahams other son went when exiled from Judea. Bombing Holy Sites and Shrines is not a deterrent, it'd simply add, literally, more fuel to the fire. It's not Islamic radicals on Jihad we're fighting. It's terrorists that are flying the flag of the religion to protect them. I wonder what our dear Mr Tancerdo would say if they bombed the Vatican, the Jerusalem sights like the Church of the Holy Seplechere, or his hometown parish or church of whatever. He probably wouldn't be 'detered'. Ludacrious! C'mon Tancredo, you'd think that you'd think before you talked. This just shows how truly ignorant some people are. I don't care what faith you are; Jew, Catholic/Orthodox, Protestant, Bahai, Buddhist, or Scientist, attacking the pinnacle of someone's faith- whether it be a temple, a lab, a park, etc- is no braver or heroic than what the terrorists did to our nation at the World Trade Center. It's a disgrace to the memory of what our nation was built upon- fundamentals of morality and 'taking the high road'. Grab your shovel Tancredo, your scaretactics will get you no where. No Government of mine would stoop to that level... if we want to prevent terrorism from festering and exploding in to an ecclectic war, or some crazy crusade, we've got to shutup and come up with a better plan than that.... wow... just when you think you've heard it all.

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. ed RI

    Lets nuke the whole middle east and pave it and put a McDonalds in the middle of it.

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. David Lynch, Limerick, Ireland

    Wow, I can't believe somebody in that position would even think of something like that never mind speak it in public. I was gonna say its a Homer Simpson type comment but that would be insulting to Homer Simpson...

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Bernard Robinson Santiago, Chile,South America

    Over the ages, "Hotheads" have risen to power in many countries and the suffering that they caused is known to all. The rest of the world just hopes and prays that that a "Hothead like Tancredo will never rise to power in the USA.

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. clev

    you got to be kidding me. i am a christian, i am not into politics, but this has to be the dumbest thing i have heard.

    please, guys, make sure this guy is not elected. we do not need another bush

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Dave

    Ya know... I cannot say that I totally disagree with this. At some point the gloves need to come off when dealing with the middle east.

    The people of the middle east have been fighting for 4000 years. Either walk away and let them be savages or take the gloves off and wipe it off the map.

    August 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Rob C, Pittsburgh, PA

    People still keep praising this guy. It still boils down to the Law of Armed Conflict. There is not a member of this U.S. Military that would follow an order to blow up Mecca or Medina, because it violates LOAC.

    Good luck trying to deter terrorists, when you have no control over your own military.

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Todd, Cincinnati, Ohio

    I am sure that about 5 minutes after Tancredo made this irresponsible comment that it was being used to recruit fundamentalist Muslims to attack the US and/or West. Tancredo thinks he is being tough and standing up against terrorists when actually he is inspiring them.

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Josh

    Here is what should happen:

    1. Remove all the sane people from Colorado.

    2. Herd Tancredo and all the idiots that agree with him in any fashion into Colorado.

    3. Blow up Colorado with the same nuclear weapons that Tancredo wants to use on Mecca.

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. TOE, Atlanta, GA

    There appears to be a general trend in comparing Al Qaeda today to Imperialist Japan during the 1940s. Similarities stop at Japan sending kamikazes into Pearl Harbor and Al Qaeda flying planes into New York. Think a little, people. Unless you are able to reason out the motive behind each, a knee-jerk reaction to repeat the nuking exposes your stupidity, you lose credibility, then and therein.

    The analogy by Trevor Willis on deterrence is brilliant! "..just like how when they bombed the Twin Towers, we were deterred from attacking any more muslim countries, right?"

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Terry, New Haven, CT

    I agree with Mr. Tancredo. This war is a war between two religions. They strike at Christians constantly, and this is a Christian nation built on Christian values. If they continue to attack us, we should strike back at their most precious, if not false (idol) sites.

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. Robert Gentile, Austin Texas

    Racist? Can someone please tell me what race Muslims are?

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Mark C, Morehead City NC

    Read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam” by Yahiya Emerick and you’ll agree with Tancredo.

    OK, now we know where that complete idiot gets his information. We should have guessed.

    August 3, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Wooga, San Diego, CA

    Technically, contaminating Mecca with lethal radiation would end the hajj permanently, theoretically killing off Islam in a couple generations. So from a "500 year" strictly utilitarian view, his plan is "so crazy it just might work." However, even ignoring the moral problem, those 50-60 years would be very "eventful" to say the least. Tancredo's plan would not be in the self-interest of anyone alive today.

    August 3, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Tony Washington DC

    Another thing, for all those who agree with this fool and say he's got "guts". I say lets fight fire with fire, the people who agree should strap bombs on to themselves and go do it themselves. Have the "guts" to die for your beliefs. Not just talk about how others should bomb people, while you sit at home. That takes a lot of "guts".

    August 3, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Tom W. Hebron,Indiana

    When I saw that Bay Buchanan was an advisor of Tom Tancredo, all I can say is "So it goes..."

    August 3, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Ed Schaefer, Mesa, Arizona

    "Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN’s Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were 'reprehensible' and 'absolutely crazy'."
    Maybe the above gives some sort of clue as to why the Iraq War isn't going well.

    August 3, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Allen Cameron, Sugar Land, Texas

    I agree with the congressman. Bomb Mecca if we are attacked again. We are not cruel enough to win a war.

    August 3, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Jay, Reston, VA

    I'm shocked that Mr. Tancredo is a presidential hopeful, since his statement just goes to show his lack of maturity and experience related in foreign affairs – skills that are highly desirable of a national leader. I would sincerely advise him to drop out of the race before he commits any more blunders.

    August 3, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Dean Vo, Orlando, Florida

    It is an absolutely crazy idea !!. We don't want to put us at the same level as Taliban and Al Qeada. Their slogan is kill all American because they don't like our government policy. We will bomb Islam Holy sites because a small group of radical Muslim harm us. How in the world this guy (Tom Tancredo) get to be our congressman.

    August 3, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Jeff, Chesapeake VA

    I fully agree, and Mr. Tancredo only voices what millions of us think.

    August 3, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. dale saint pete fl

    I agree... period

    August 3, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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