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. Sebastian, Charlotte NC

    This guy has too much hate in his heart; one thing is being patriotic at heart and another crazy in mind!

    August 3, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Kevin Chantilly Va

    Ya know, we really can't fight terrorism. Period, end of subject!!

    So what are law abiding people to do? At some point reasonable people will become unreasonable. We've seen a bit of that in the trumped-up reasoning for invading Iraq. Bush was too stupid to plant WMD for justification..

    I don't think that'll ever happen again.

    Unfortunately Islam is a "personal religion" in that each conscript has his own interpretation. Of course, much of it is pervertly interpreted by clerics. Politicians or rulers know that without the cleric support they're doomed, just look at Iran.

    There has to be a way of bringing moderate Islam to the forefront. Without that silent majority, nothing will ever occur. Its very much akin to the civil rights struggle of the 50s & 60s in America. It was only with an ever growng white support against the opression of blacks that racial change occured in this country. If it was just Martin, Malcolm and blacks only, it would've been status quo for who knows how long? And thats just the thing.

    How do you get the silent majority of law abiding Muslims rise up and stop the Islamic nuts?

    Does the summer of 68 (riots) ring a bell??

    Tom may be nutso, but when all the major cities in America were burning, change happened, and it happened fast..

    I don't want to see Mecca and Medina harmed in no way; but America reluctently woke up when the cities were burning. Tancredo may be nuts, but not without historical reasoning

    August 3, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Josh Roocoveleski, dover, del

    GEM. The only person who is going to cause more devestation this weekend, is MUR at the shore

    August 3, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. rormandy, Seattle, WA

    Tom Tancredo is absolutely correct... If they launch a major attack on our soil, obliterate mecca and medina... people who suggest this is crazy or reprehensible are ignorant.

    August 3, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. pat michielli peachtree city ga

    why are his comments so bad ?? why are we expected to endure the un-thinkable while others can do whatever evil they wish ??

    August 3, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Eric, New Orleans, LA

    Hooray! Lou Dobbs' favorite buddy makes another intelligent comment.

    August 3, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Jim, Philadelphia, PA

    There is nothing crazy about this idea. Violence must be met with violence. The common thugs the media loves to call 'militiamen' have no problem attacking our way of life. It's time to take the gloves off and send a serious message to those losers.

    August 3, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Chad, Mount Olive, NJ

    Is this guy nuts???? Do you know what kind of backlash we would get by this type of action? Not all muslims are terrorists as some people make them out to be but this would turn even the good against us. Tancredo should not be allowed to hold a place in the government with that type of thinking

    August 3, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Rod Burnette


    Just for your info, the Japanese didn't use Kamikaze tactics until the later stages of WWII when things weren't going so well for the bad guys. Pearl Harbor started the war for the United States.

    And yet another government educated liberal who cannot get their facts straight.

    August 3, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. KD, St Louis, MO

    i wonder if that would be a terrorist threat on the part of the congressman..
    i demand that this man is to face trial for repeated threats of the nature, as well as investigating any relationship with the criminal Zionist movement and christian extremist movements

    August 3, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |


    August 3, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. sahif

    and that there laadies and gentlemen....will be the beginning of worlf war 3....i promise.

    August 3, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. PeaceGuy, SF, CA

    Hi there,

    First, let me preface my remarks with the fact that I am a registered Demo, though I am ashamed of both parties at this point. I also wish there was a peaceful way to settle all of this.

    That said, I see NO PROBLEM with warning an invisible enemy of the reprecussions of their actions.

    Are we supposed to be politically correct forever, afraid to step on toes...and let whatever happens...happen?

    I think not. Although we never should of gone to Iraq in the first place, you must remember that while there, the US has tried to fight a war to minimize civilian casualties.

    I think after the next attack (which is imminent in my opinion), the gloves have to come off, and the threat needs to be eliminated. Period, end of sentence.

    I don't want more violence. I detest war (like most folks) and I want my daughter to grow-up in a decent world.

    But I am sooo tired of the extremists of any religion determining the path of our society. This is religion folks–and I'm tired of hearing about it.

    Anyway...there is no doubt Tom is a few donuts short of a dozen...but warning our enemy is smething that needs to be done.

    August 3, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Chris, Orlando, FL

    This is a good start.

    Many comments here seem to think this methodolgy will lead to more attacks. That will happen regardless. They have already declared war on us, what part of that don't any of you get? THE WAR HAS STARTED.

    Believe me, they aren't sitting around their cave thinking "gee, if they'd only just let us rule the world, we wouldn't have to fight them! If only they'd submit or die we wouldn't have all this fighting...

    It us or them. I choose us.

    August 3, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Brian Phillips , Vail, AZ

    How desperate have we become? A bridge falls down & we worry it's a terror attack. US bombing of such sites would bring us to the same level as terrorists. We're not Apes fighting for a water hole, but if we were, this guy would grab the first stick.

    August 3, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Todd, Sacramento CA

    Creating hostility between muslims and the west are the primary goal of terrorists. They would think nothing of sacrificing their holy sites in order to create 1000 years of war and a unified muslim nation. Stupid, Stupid idea.

    August 3, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Helen, Seattle, WA

    I agree with Congressman Tancredo. Strike them where they hurt. If we get incontrovertible proof that US soil has been attacked by an Islamic faction, regardless of which group or country it is with, we will strike back by hitting Medina first then Mecca second. This may not only deter such attacks in the first place, but hopefully would encourage OTHER Muslims to reign in these terrorists once and for all, and keep them from besmirching good people and believers.

    August 3, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Anon, Augusta Ga

    Despite all the condemnation of this idea, it would represent a viable deterrent if you just think about it. The real enemy is fundamentalist Islam – the brand of Islam Muhammad fabricated – and probably most imams know this and also know that Islam cannot survive the permanent nuclear destruction of this stupid “holy site”. The credibility of Islam – already on thin ice in the modern world – would be totally destroyed along with Mecca and our problems with this 7 th century hoax would be over. This destruction, however, would never occur because the Mullahs of Iran or anywhere would never authorize anything that would lead to the end of their wealth & power. At least nuclear missile capable Israel should announce this deterrent.

    August 3, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Mary, Portland, Maine

    Tancredo's comments may be viewed as "crazy", but we are dealing with raging lunatics who fly themselves into buildings! They are NOT reasonable people & do not have respect or tolerance for human rights & decency.

    August 3, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Bradnon, Bear, De

    I agrre 110% with Tancredo!!! We need to show these muslim terrorists that we are the strongest country, and that we will defend our brothers and sisters by any mean necessary. These politicians in the government would rather kiss the muslim world's butt. Forget that. There are 300 million Americans. We are a more daunting force than any of these chicken terrorists that attack innocent people. If Tancredo would run for President I would vote for him!!!!!

    August 3, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Rod Burnette


    Could you please tell me where in the United States Constitution or Bill of Rights where it says, "Separation of Church and State?" Thanks, but don't look too long cause it is not there. Do you or any of the other liberal, ALCU nut cases out there even know who coined the phrase? Please do us all a favor and read non-fiction for a change. Try "God in America" by Newt Gingrich.

    Another example of a government educated liberal.

    August 3, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Pat, Hsv, AL

    Now you're talking!

    August 3, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Joe, NJ

    I find it hilarious that Americans are concerned more with the rights of a religious group that would subject the world to Shari ah law if the opportunity presented itself than the safety and security of our country. The only way to fight terrorism is with terror and targeted international strikes, not with the military occupation of a country. Do you think terrorist training camps and command and control elements are in Afghanistan and Iraq? No, they're in nations that we do not currently occupy.

    August 3, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Carmon - Flushing, MI

    Why is this suggestion "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy"? I, for one, am encouraged to hear somebody say "If you mess with the US you will pay a heavy price". This country hasn't fought a war to win since 1945.

    August 3, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Randal Busby, Rogers, AR

    Anyone who can fathom even mildly defending this man's comments is an idiot. Islamic Radicals represent a minute sect within a religion that has millions of followers, including many in the United States. If we are to follow Tancredo's ideology, then when Christian Radicals bomb abortion clinics and protest the funerals of our dead soldiers we should bomb Jerusalem, Bethlehem or The Vatican?!?! He is an uneducated bigot!

    August 3, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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