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. Abdallah, Washington

    This guy is running for president? He is an idiot if he thinks violence against holy sites is a good solution. Good luck becoming president, looser.

    August 3, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    The Middle East is already so screwed up...... What more harm can we do? We bombed a whole country! Does
    Tom Tancredo even need to state what
    everybody already knows. He is only stating a reaction of what could happen.......

    August 3, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Glen Parker, Glendora, CA

    The mir act of mentioning this may stir up hatred amomg muslims. Thank God that Tom Tancredo has zero chance of becoming president.

    August 3, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Tony, New Jersey

    I honestly couldn't agree more with candidate Tancredo. I would go furhter and state there's a bomber in the air 24/7 with Mecca and Medina in range. These are religious fanatics, after all, and this is a strong deterrent. Doing it, is a real option!

    August 3, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Wyatt Earp -- Richmond, VA


    August 3, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Sam, El Paso, TX

    First of all, by threatening to attack Muslim holy sites, Tancredo is already implying that ALL terrorists are Muslim. What if someone of another religion or ethnicity was to attack the U.S.?? Of course, the first people to be blamed will be Muslims, and we being the good ol' U.S. of A. would probably attack immediately without any solid evidence.

    This is a completely prejudice and racist comment by Tancredo. What about the Virgina Tech attack?? It was all over the news, especially CNN, and yet, just because the attacker was not Muslim or of middle-eastern origin, the words "terrorist," "terrorism," or "terrorist attack" were not once used to describe what most definitely and undoubtedly was a horrible terrorist attack.

    Secondly, an attack on Muslim holy sites would cause World War III (and that is an understatement). Tancredo is just another example of exactly what we DO NOT want or need in the White House, or even in the house just down the street: a racist, prejudice person whose ignorance will cause nothing but trouble in the world. Thank you.

    August 3, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Catherine, Birmingham, AL

    He is absolutely insane. Seriously, was he thinking right when he said it? How will bombing holy sites in Mecca and Medina prevent retaliation from Islamic fundamentalists. It'll only increase their hatred for us. How could he have been nominated as a hopeful...

    August 3, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Brian, Houston, TX

    Vote for this guy and welcome to the end of the World! We will never break the horrible cycle of War.

    August 3, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Jack, Huntington, WV

    This guy doesn't deserve to hold ANY political office ANYWHERE. He belongs in an insane asylum for comments like that. What an idiot. No one in their right mind would vote for someone who speaks so carelessly.

    August 3, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Mike, East Brunswick, NJ

    Attacking anybody's holy site is only going to provoke more violence, it wont actually deter anything. Especially since we will be killing devout, most likely non-violent muslims.

    But if our intention is to start a giant slug out between Islam and the West, then thats a pretty good way to do it. War is never pretty but at the end of the day at least one side of this stupid fight will be shut up for good

    August 3, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Brian Atlanta GA

    I TOTALLY agree with Mr. Tancredo.

    August 3, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. John Q, Wherever, Whenever.

    Makes you wonder how the words "freedom" and "democracy" are being translated and explained to those little Iraqi children.

    August 3, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. JRowlanD, Haymarket, VA

    He has my vote!
    I suspect the muslim hypoctites may not even care if you nuke the alleged holy sites.....

    August 3, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I agree target mecca and medina with nukes. War should be so terrible no one is crazy enough to do it. You can't win a war till you stop the money.

    August 3, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. NY, NY

    I must admit, i wasted a lot of time reading most of the comments posted, and I think he is right, they are destroying things we love and killings people we love, yet they are hiding behind democracy, i say do same, destroy things they love and kill people they love, and they will know who they dealing with

    August 3, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. H Stover Wichita, KS

    I agree. If they want to hide in mosques, then bomb them. We should stop giving terrorists a hiding place so they can regroup.

    August 3, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. Short Sue - Summit Point, WV

    Since they don't value life why would they value their own religious sites? They kill (bomb) their own children for what? To make a statement? I believe we should build a wall around their cities and whoever walks out in a year get to keep their oil profits.

    August 3, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Kevin, Blaine, WA

    Following that logic I quess UK should bomb the Vatican the next time the some nut in the IRA blows something up. Tancredo is an embarrasment and a disgrace.

    August 3, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Nueva York

    Yeah, lets nuke the two holiest cities in the muslim religion, that ought to stop Ben Laden dead on his mule somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Lemme guess, overcome with pain and sorrow, he will throw himself off the cliff and his followers, shamed and broken into submission, would turn into instant pacifist and rush to rebuild their cities while singing "We are the World" and we will all live together in peace and love forever. THIS MAN IS A FIRST CLASS MORON WHO DESERVES TO BE STRIPPED OF HIS CITIZENSHIP AND SENT BACK TO WHATEVER RAT HOLE HE CAME FROM (or should we send him to Iraq or Mexico? hmmm).

    August 3, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. David, Chicago, IL

    It probably wouldn't matter as the real target has to be Iran. They sponser terrorism and everybody knows that. But we are afraid to challenge them and so we will ultimately be destroyed for our weakness. But at least he has the courage to fight for our Country. Unfortunately, most on this blog and in our country apparently will no longer do.

    August 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Thomas C, Garden City NY

    The sheer disgrace of Tancredo's comments are only matched by the sheer ineptitude, stupidity, and desperation of those who have brought this country to this point. This is the same chain of faulty reasoning that Bin Laden no doubt followed prior to 9/11.

    It's revolting given the values on which this country was founded that any politician would suggest such a vile and un-American policy. And it is even more astounding given our recent history that anyone with half a neuron would think that bombing our way through complex problems largely of our own making with the catastrophe of Iraq will lead to a peaceful or prosperous future for our descendants.

    Thankfully for New Jersey, Michigan, North Carolina, and Montana ( the home states of Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Eric Rudolph, and Ted Kaczynski) this moron wasn't in charge during the Oklahoma City/Olympic Park/Unabom bombings.

    The best defense against terrorism is by being a just society founded on our American values, not the knee jerk reflexes driven by hatred and a sheer contempt of our national legacy.

    August 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Chris Anderson, Arizona

    Such action would turn the U.S. government into a terrorist dictatorship–itself nearly one already. Moreover, the alliance with Saudia Arabia is one of the U.S.'s most valuable friendships, no matter what tensions might exist. This would destroy U.S. credibility in EVERY Muslim nation–and further alienate Muslims in the U.S. itself.

    August 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Neutral Observer, New York, NY

    Cool! Then there will be world war 3 and muslims will attack christians all over the world. It will be soo much fun to watch!

    August 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Adrian Jackson, Greensboro, NC

    Man oh man! This guy is two things: stupid and courageous. Courageous because he is truly speaking from his heart, telling the truth that he embraces and stands by his conviction. STUPID: These comments incite and invite more violence. There is no clear cut answer to end the terrorist threat, but blowing up innocent citizens in Mecca and Medina will make America a bigger terrorist threat to the rest of the world.

    August 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Hassan

    Quran, Chapter 105
    [1] Have you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) not seen how your Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant? (The elephant army which came from Yemen under the command of Abrahah Al-Ashram intending to destroy the Ka'bah at Makkah).
    [2] Did He not make their plot go astray?
    [3] And He sent against them birds, in flocks,
    [4] Striking them with stones of Sijjîl (baked clay).
    [5] And He made them like (an empty field of) stalks (of which the corn has been eaten up by cattle).

    August 3, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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