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. Big Daddy, Seattle, WA

    Finally a political canditate with BALLS!

    I agree–you kill my wife, mother or children, and we NUKE your most sacred sites.

    Not an OFFENSIVE measure, but a RETALIATORY measure.

    He has my vote.

    Or do you prefer Harry Reid to respond to insane Islamist extremists??

    If he wishes, I'll press the button personally while holding a picture of my loved one lost, just like those who hold pictures of lost ones from the barracks in Beirut, Somalia, the USS Cole and at the Trade Centers, Pennsylvania field and Pentagon. Not to mention our bravest warriors and fallen ones in Afghanistan and Iraq.


    What would George Washington or Abe Lincoln do???

    Let history be the teacher. Study the words of Sir Winston Churchill who pointed out (unfortunately) that Hitler could have been CRUSHED by the French in the five years prior to WWII and the deaths of 40 million plus.

    August 3, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Christy Nouri Irving, TX

    This is an outrageous and dumb idea. I* think that if he (the US) bombed the holy land of all holy land's (Mecca)and (Medina) where would the Muslims turn too for holy prayer..that would be 10 times worse then bombing the pope at the Vatican. The Muslims would be in an uproar. This would not stop Muslims from fighting the would get all Muslims AGAINST AMERICA including the ones that are living in it. This man is obviously not mentally capable of being any kind of leader.

    August 3, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Anonomous

    Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) worked against the Soviets for over 50 years. I agree with the Colorado Senator. We should retaliate against the terrorist sites if we are ever attacked again. It was a very effective deterent. If their goal is to bring down western civilization we should also bring down their civilization. What sane person would ever wage war if they knew that their homeland and everything that they loved would be totally destroyed. However, we should never do this if we are not attacked.

    August 3, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. fahad akhtar, nyc ny

    with comments like that, i forget who the real terrorists are. how did this man ever get elected to any political office?

    August 3, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. ummreem

    Good idea Tommy.

    While we are at it, let's nuke Iran, North Korea and the other people we don't like. Then we can live in peace. It will work out just like our master plan in Iraq.

    Tommy is so smart... I am sure even smarter people actually elected this guy with an IQ of 10. I am surprised that you aren't president yet. Osama would definitely vote for you, you are the perfect one to recruit off.

    And for all those Tommy-supporting morons, go light on the beer, and beating your poor wives. Americans are not as stupid as you all, so stop making us all look bad.

    August 3, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. syd, Los angeles

    perhaps this moran should look at adjusting US foreign policy. this person is completly devoid of any comman sense!

    August 3, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Gnuut Jensen

    What a moron.

    August 3, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. unrequitedlovesong

    "bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good “deterrent” to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States"

    Yeah. I don't want this guy in office. Or in politics all together. Uh, is anyone here a psychiatrist? Pencil Tancredo in please. Well it is good that he came out and said this. Hopefully it has tarnished all hopes of him becoming president or taking any serious political roles.

    August 3, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Steve, San Antonio, TX

    I think I'm gonna hurl... This guy is played like a pro by the extremists. This is exactly what they would like to see happen.

    August 3, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. Akus from Texas

    Maybe we should stop listening to the dribble of the GOP or Democrats and actually vote for a statesman... you know.. like Ron Paul.

    If you want to learn more, click on Also, study him up on the issues sites, like vote-smart etc.

    August 3, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Bob, Mission Viejo, CA

    Tancredo's suggestion to nuke Mecca may sound crazy, but what other response makes sense? If millions of Americans are killed in a muslim terrorist attack are we supposed to just wring our hands and wish it would stop? Mecca is more than just a holy place in Islam. It is one of the cornerstones of their religion. Even a terrorist would understand this. Tancredo's idea holds some seeds of brilliance.

    August 3, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Joe

    Liberals – Have you spewed enough insults yet? I have yet to hear a better suggestion come out of the mouth of anyone that has criticized him. I know! Maybe we should surrender the world to Muslims, succumb to Shari ah law, and live happily ever after in an oppressed country. No thank you.. i support Tom, his immigration plan, and his voting record in the Congress. He can't be any worse than Bush or Bubba (the President that committed multiple crimes while in office.)

    August 3, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. Josh- Nashville, TN

    Personally, I think it is a good idea. If you can't beat them, join them. Let thier innocent reap the whirlwind of the actions caused by the ignorant few fundamentalists. We are too nice, if they are going to really hate us let's give them a good reason.

    Bomb them all, I really don't care.

    August 3, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. Sydney, LA, CA

    What else would those of you that disagree suggest. If we are hit again, all bets are off and you can forget diplomacy and political correctness. We should be th war mongering cowboys that all expect of us anyway and who they come calling for when they need help.

    As for the comment that Tancredo was wrong on the illegals, maybe you shoudl think of the possibility that bridges wouldn't be collapsing if we did not have the economic strain of 12 million plus non citizens.

    August 3, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Cody, Yuma AZ

    I geuss I dont realize how bombing Islam Holy Sites is going to serve as a deterent. If anything it will turn the public against us and turn this into a holy war. As history has shown us no one wins in a holy war.

    August 3, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Keith, Boulder, CO

    I'm actually glad that someone is standing up to the terrorists. We don't actually have to follow through with this threat, but the ball is in their court. We will not attack them unless they attack us. But I agree that there needs to be a deterrent of immense magnitude to prevent another attack. This may be just such an idea as there is nothing more sacred to their fundamentalist ideas than those cities.

    August 3, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Ron, St. Louis, MO

    I think this is the kind of thing that Al Quaeda is trying to get the U.S. to do. Remember that they are very weak on their own and their strength only lies in how they can get the U.S. to act. I think that many of our responses to their terror are exactly the types of responses that they are looking for.

    August 3, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. smack, jonesboro GA

    If the terrorists are willing to hide out in "holy sites" then they're the ones putting them at risk.

    Until you realize that because of their religion they cannot hate us anymore than they do already, you cannot win this war on extremism.

    August 3, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Brad Nash Toronto On

    We should have hit Mecca and Medina on Sept 12 ,2001, just for a warm up.

    August 3, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Bruce

    Why do all the chickenhawks who never went to war always want to bomb and kills as many people at one time just for the sake of looking tough. I always find this so strange. Next the guy will be talking about bombing Mexico to fix the immigration problem.

    August 3, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. Atharee Salafee, Atlanta GA USA

    Tancredo and his sympathizers (including some losers posting on this forum) should be arrested and charged with making terroristic threats. Terrorism has nothing to do with the religion of Islam. Sincerely seeking knowledge is a cure for this type of blatant, compounded ignorance.

    Incidentally, as a scholar of Islam living in Mecca said: "We say to these criminals and their envious supporters in Europe and America: You are blaming others for your very own crimes [i.e., terrorism]!

    Let it be known that never did Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace), nor his righteous successors or any of his honorable companions, ever establish factories for even the most primitive of weapons, like swords and spears, let alone atomic bombs, long-range missiles, or any other weapon of mass destruction.

    Never did Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) build a single weapon factory. Rather, he was sent as a mercy for the entire creation, to guide all Mankind towards happiness in their worldly lives and in their hereafter, such that they fulfill their Creator’s right upon them, for it is He who created them to worship Him alone. Whoever rejects this is truly a criminal deserving punishment in this life and the next, by the Lord of all that exists, the Creator of this universe and its Master."

    See the full text at

    August 3, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Shank - Kailua, HI

    Sounds like a fantastic plan.
    I've thought about it before, but finally someone from Govt views the same ideas.
    Love the idea – When can we get started??

    August 3, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Carol Miami, FL

    Has this man heard of "diplomacy" and "retaliation"? He is a presidential hopeful??!!??? Remember that he also called South Florida a 3rd world country. Mindless. You people in CO should be apalled!

    August 3, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Shaheed, Gainesville Florida

    As a muslim man this is the type of vain talk that can completely tear apart relationships. People have to realize that for every 1 extremist their are 100 honest hardworking muslims in this world. Those 100 people are the ones who are hurt by this comment and others just like it. The leaders of this Great Country need to encourage positive solutions to this problem. You don't fight the monster by becoming the Monster yourself. This man should be ashamed to display such hatred on his powerful arena.

    August 3, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Straw Poll Voter, Eastern, IA

    Whose government teaches hate and violence???? Tancredo has done nothing but try to invite a terrorist attack and make things worse for our troops on the ground in Iraq. He should resign. Today.

    August 3, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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