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. RL, Huntington Beach, California

    All the don't upset or offend anyone liberals need to take a laxative. Tom simply suggested it was an option.

    Unfortuanely, not everyone is pacified by a hug and a good roaring round of "we are the world". Tom is right on and has the guts to protect America and the western civilization. Men like him and other American heroes are the reason spineless oppeasing liberals are even able to babble their nonsense. Go Tom!

    August 3, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Dan, Chicago, IL

    THIS IS NOT A WAR WITH ISLAM!!! THIS IS A WAR WITH AL QAEDA!!! Al Qaeda is not all muslims. In fact, they are a small proportion of a sect of islam. It is stupid to unite an entire religion against a multi-religious country (US) in some kind of holy war.

    Also, to those of you whom continue to invoke MAD, we are not at war with a country like we were with the USSR. There is no specific target that we could threaten to deter Al Qaeda. Unless you wish to destroy much of western Asia, Eastern Europe, and half of Africa give or take.

    Doesn't make sense.

    The solution is to deal with the people who will deal with us in exchange for information regarding the real criminals. The problem is that many people don't have the patience, so they decide to blow something up. Not an ideal trait for a leader.

    August 3, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Robert - Arroyo Grande, Calif.

    It looks like most people comments on
    this don't mind if these killers use
    suitcase nuclear bombs on our cities.
    They have no answear. 15 of the 19
    killers came from our so called allied
    S.A. I guess it safer closing your eyes
    and hope it will go away. I would erase
    those two cities and a couple others.

    August 3, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Austin, Little Rock AR

    Bravo! The only viable deterant against Muslim extremeist.

    August 3, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Tex, Chicajo, IL

    This guy is some bizarre combination of a moron and a psychopath who will only accelerate the extinction of the human race. Anyone stupid enough to vote for him should be sterilized.

    August 3, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. DF; Washington DC

    This comment shows Tancredo's vast stupidity. For one thing, there are over 1 billion Muslims in the world. Only a tiny fraction of them are "terrorists." This would be seen not as a "retaliation" against terrorists, but an attack on Islam itself. As such, this would be the end of the USA. We would be assailed by Muslims from within & outside of America.

    Also, clearly these crazed killers, the ones who would actually commit an act of terrorism, don't care about blowing themselves up. What makes Tancredo think that they would shy away from provoking an attack by the US on their holy cities? This would play right into their agenda.

    If you vote for Tancredo in '08, not only should you be ashamed of yourself, but you probably are in need of psychiatric care.

    August 3, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Tom, Fairfax, VA

    "religion has nothing to do with the terrorists"

    ... considering how often they quote the Koran, I think they would disagree with you. Right before they lopped your head off for insulting them so.

    August 3, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. A person looking for peace in this crazy world, US

    Some of you guys are hilarious!!! You are comparing the cold war times with these times??!!! At that time the Soviet Union was ONE country... Now Muslims do not constitute ONE nation, but many nations (and most of them -believe it or not- are actually US allies: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, ...etc)
    Also, saying that "nuking" holy sites is the "right " move is simply insane!!! I personally have no idea how this guy got elected into being a representative!
    For the guy who is saying he fought Muslims... Oh PLEASE!!! I have lived in the Middle East for YEARS... Middle Easterners are just like us: they have families, they wanna live free and with dignity. Also NEWS FLASH: not all Middle Easterners are Muslims, there are also Christians and Jews.
    So a piece of advice: why don't some of you go and read a bit more about that part of the world: its history and its people (the REAL people who live there and have normal everyday lives, not the ones you choose to look at because they satisfy your ignorant self and distorted stereotypes.)
    Thank you.

    August 3, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Brian, San Antonio, TX

    Isn't it funny how all the libs whine over Tancredo's remarks, yet think Obama is the greatest candidate to come around in years – you know, the same guy who says we should invade Pakistan to go after terrorists?

    August 3, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. David, Los Angeles

    I agree that to bomb Mecca would hasten the end of the world as we know it. Tancredo asks for an alternative deterant, and I hope there is one.

    I personnaly prefer more proactive steps like multiplying our fleet of predator drones by 1000 times, and taking out more training camps and mosques. That'l learn 'em.

    And to "Concerned Voter" in South Bend who writes, "How would you feel if they blew up the Vatican? Your local church?"... Well guess what, I'll bet there are tens of thousands of Muslim extremists out there at this moment who would love to do just that – bomb the Vatican or YOUR local church – and would in a heartbeat if they could.

    And to those who think Tancredo hates Mexicans because he takes a stand on illegal immigration, it makes no more sense to say that you love Mexicans because they make great tacos. He doesn't hate Mexicans; he loves America.

    August 3, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Tom, Shelton CT

    Do it! If this would "turn" a moderate Muslim into an suicide bomber than they were never moderate to begin with and we need them dead. There is no moderate Islam, only moderate Muslims. Islam by it's very nature is violent and meant to be "spread by the sword". Stop being PC. Stop trying to garner favor with Muslims to make yourself look smarter and more "progressive" than American' who actually believe that if somebody punches you in the face, you should punch them back. Surgical strikes on religious shrines would kill far fewer than a conventional war.

    August 3, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Danielle, Kansas

    Me thinks sometime is trying to draw attention to their presidential campaign. Nice try douchebag! Drawing comparisons to Hitler is not a good way to win an election.

    August 3, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Josh Smith, Kansas City, Missouri

    ahem – while this is a bit extreme, who can deny that this would certainly be a good deterrent. We are fighting with our hands tied behind our back, thanks to the liberals in this country. This is the sort of man who would not accept attacks from islamo-facists and the governments (yes, many governments included) that support them. Thank you, Mr. Tancredo. And keep up the good work on calling for a more secure border. We're with you.

    August 3, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Sal, Boise Idaho

    No wonder the world Hates us!

    August 3, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Bob, New York, New York

    Here is the bottom line: there is ZERO deterent for a terrorist. You can threaten them with anything you like but they won't listen. They've made a decision to innocent lives, i.e. they're insane. They don't make rational decisions. This is why starting the war in Iraq played right into their strategy. They want to escalate the fight. We can't have our politicians making the kinds of statements that the nuts will publicize. Tancredo's statement will be headline news in a lot of Muslim countries. What an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Rake Yohn, West Chester, PA

    RE: The argument that terrorism is not primarily related to Islam is laughable. Nearly 1/4 of Muslims polled in the US support terrorist activities and nearly 60% consider themselves a Muslim first and an American second. Hyphenated Americans should not be tolerated and should be summarily removed from our great nation.

    Posted By Joe, NJ : August 3, 2007 4:18 pm

    JOE in nj. Get a life, dude. Are you against the constitution of the United States? You tory. Go move the Great Britain.

    August 3, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Austin, Evergreen Park, IL

    To J. Czeikus, Victorville, CA: What you suggest would actually be the quickest way to get the "moderate" Muslims to join with the loonies against us. Bomb their holy sites to get them to work with us? Think, man. Sheesh.

    By your logic if someone blows you away "in the name of the Catholic Church" (regardless of whether they're actually Catholic or not), are we supposed to bomb the Vatican?

    August 3, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Brian - Denver Colorado

    Rep Tancredo is absolutely correct and right on target with this issue as well as Illegal Immigration. Finally, a representative with some guts to say it as it should be and not some whiny political BS. Keep going Tom !!!

    August 3, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. toe, Atlanta, GA

    Zack Highstreet Allston,
    If you don't believe in the Islamic GOD Allah, none of what the Koran says should bother you, should it? Wouldn't those be like the words of any delinquent soul on the streets? Why care?

    August 3, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Montreal, Quebec wrote,

    Stop bombing and killing, maybe people will want to befriend you.

    (By the way, I’m Canadian, and we don’t get terrorist attacks. I wonder what differences we have make you a target.)"

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Mr/Ms Canadian,

    The US GDP (economy) is 11x larger than Canada

    In World War II, over 450,000 Americans gave their lives to help defeat Japan and Hitler. Canada lost 45,000.

    Currently the Canadian "Forces" consists of approximately 63,000. The US has 2,000,000 between active and reserve.

    The US gives $27 Billion a year in foreign aid. Canada gives $2.5 Billion.

    Your country is a woodland derivative of France, ruled by England until almost the 1900's. The greatest contributions of your Country are hockey players and skunk-type beer.

    Your government remains a constitutional monarchy with deep leanings toward socialism.

    The question anyone would legitimately want to ask... why WOULD anyone attack Canada?

    Terrorist LOVE Canada (great port of entry in attempting to sneak into the US).

    August 3, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. smith buffalo, ny

    I think Tancredo should rethink his study statement Or should we also bomb rome and the holy land of isreal. but of cause he may not believe in anything except himself. why dont he and his friend bush leave office before they get thrown out.

    August 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Josh Klugman, Los Angeles, CA

    At last there is someone who understands how the Muslim minds works. Tancredo whether realizing it or not is stating the inevitable. He should be commended for his courage in this ultra-PC Orwellian culture.

    August 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Bruce, Spokane, WA

    OMG – clueless. Does he also want to blow up Christian churches to stop anti-abortion violence?
    There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in this world, a few who are fanatics. Start blowing up their shrines and sacred places and that number will grow dramatically.
    And dont go for the 'Muslims would then police Muslims' agument. The vast majority of crime in America is commited by men. Perhaps we could treat all men as criminals and they would start to police themselves?

    August 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. RR, Tempe, AZ

    I am extremely disappointed with the level of stupidity that is being shown in politics these days. What would happen if a candidate in Pakistan made a similar comment, but in regards to a Christian religious landmark? Being an American and a person of Pakistani & Indian decent, I am shocked, out-raged, and disgusted by these comments.

    August 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Erfolg, Frankfurt, Germany

    Tancredo is spot on by saying that Mecca and Medina should be bombed. He can not be more right. Islam is not a religion at all and Mecca and Medina are just "holey" cities / symbols which represent a school of thought that spawns and inspires terrorism/ terrorists. These two places need to be bombed out anyway – it is just a matter of time before this eventually happens.

    August 3, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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