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. Anonymous

    In fact,Bin Laden in 30 days, or Mecca is a hole on the ground, just like ground zero.

    August 3, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Pete, Virginia

    His comments were referring to retaliation for a NUCLEAR attack by terrorists.

    he was not saying we would attack Mecca if a suicide bomber blows up a building.

    You people are completely misrepresenting what he is saying. There is video on youtube of his comments. He is talking about proportional response.

    What do you propose to do if Washington DC, where I live, is incinerated by ansuitcase sized atomic bomb? Send flowers?

    Stop confusing the issue. He was referring to retaliation for a NUCLEAR attack.

    Once terrorists go nuclear, there will be no going back so making friends with al qaeda will not be an option.

    The point here is to make people in the middle east get tough on terrorists inside their own country.

    Again, he was referring to retaliation for a NUCLEAR ATTACK. That would be unprecedented and cannot be compared to suicide bombs in Isreal or London.

    August 3, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. PAnonymous LIttle Rock Arkansas

    Yes: Achilles had a heel too and we must asault this Evil where the vulnerability is greatest. Fundamentalism, Islamic, needs to be confronted, converted, and annihalated.
    Now, listen to me: not your routine law-abiding redneck, black, italian, or islamic. I'm speaking of those that would kill your sons and daughters (are killing) if they could and when they can.
    I like Tancredo's statement and will support him 150% with all I have WHEN THE TIME COMES, AND IT IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 3, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Harold, Los Angeles, CA

    I’m surprised at the vehement attacks against Representative Tom Tancredo. I do think it was a mistake to say the obvious. The radicals must be aware that if we ever are hit with a nuclear attack we will (those of us that are left) be crying for a reprisal against those that killed our loved ones and attacking anything that represents the attackers – including their holy places.

    These radicals only understand the sword. Why do you think China & the Soviets are not plagued by the Radical Islamists? China is swift to retaliate, this is one lesson we should learn from them.

    Those attacking Tom Tancredo should think about the fact that these radicals want us all dead, our parents, our children, our loved ones, everyone!

    Let’s work together not attack each other.

    August 3, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Dennis Newton MA

    The only thing Islamo-terrorists understand is Power, Fear and Death now he is speaking their language. All of you who think he's nuts, would be the first ones beheaded by the terrorists cause you have no balls. And by the way the last time we tried this it WORKED and saved probably thousands of lives. Remember Hiroshima?

    August 3, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Shannon, Orlando, FL

    This is absolutely terrifying. By attacking holy ground, we would not be waging a war on terrorism, we would be waging a war on the Muslim religion.
    Considering that Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1.3 billion followers, it would be ignorant for us to assume that we could possibly PREVENT violence by executing that type of retaliation. God (Allah, Yehweh), save us all.

    August 3, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Teresa Esquivel, San Antonio, Texas

    Tancredo is irresponisble and should be held responsible for his words. His televised comments as well as his quoted words will undoubtedly end up on many Terrorist-sponsored sites. If there is an attack on the US, some of us might be willing to place blame on Tancredo and his "reprehensible" and offensive words.

    August 3, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Abu Bakr, Gainesville Fla

    Beware of fighting the monster... less you too become the monster

    August 3, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Shardule, Boston, MA

    The Republican Party should not have a single delegate vote for Tancredo during the caucuses, or simply, they should ask him to stop campaigning. Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, et al. should be ashamed to share the stage with this nutcase.

    August 3, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. Dr. T

    Good for him finally a politician with some "nuts", We should stop playing by the book and take out their sacred dwellings they are doing it to us! He has my vote for Secretary of Defense!

    August 3, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Jeremy, Okinawa Japan

    Its called the Law of Armed conflict from the 1949 Geneva convention. Look it up Tom!

    August 3, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. Paul; Columbus, OH

    I hope he gets the Republican nomination for president.

    His plan will not work. Terrorists will think it is just some empty threat, and someone will commit a terrorist attack. Maybe some terrorists will be deterred, but it only takes one person or small group of people to commit a terrorist attack. You can be certain that if we bomb Mecca or Medina in response to one person's terrorist attack, there will be immense consequences that could potentially lead to the end of the world as we know it.

    August 3, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    idiot. shame on those who raised this guy & on whomever taught him politics and respect. these are disgraceful comments from someone who is supposed to represent the people in this respectful country.

    August 3, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Anonymous, Pheonix, AZ

    This guy would be best friends with Glenn Beck and that Biggotted Conrgressman from Virgina (cant remember his name) as well as the same idea was proposed by Sen Jon Kyl from Arizona. Thankfully he will never get a RNC Nomination.

    August 3, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. S Schnee, Phoenix, AZ

    I would have to believe that our government has already, very quietly, made the same threat. The Islamists hold no territory to protect, so the only feasible deterrent is against their religion

    August 3, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Jonathan, Santa Maria, Ca

    I'm a Staunch Republican and that's a load of crap. He needs to be removed from office period. let alone the presidential race

    August 3, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Steve Geller, Berkeley, CA

    Eventually, some Muslim whackos will try another 9/11. Probably nothing will deter these fanatics, but I sure think we should respond by dropping a H-bomb on Mecca. Our Trident submarines have the coordinates.

    August 3, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. bush, denver, colorado

    Wow. This guy is stupider than Bush. Why don't we just blow up all the holy lands in Israel first and give them their land back and let them live out their lives without our occupation and political interests.

    August 3, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Jason, Richmond, VA

    Maybe Muhammad did preach peace, but try telling that to the Muslims blowing up buses and subway stations.

    August 3, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Victor DeCurtis Pitcher, New York

    What's the problem? We have the firepower, but we're unwilling to use it to full advantage. These vermin kill, murder and annihilate with abandon, knowing that we won't do to the what they are willing to do everywhere in the world.
    If it's a choice of hitting two million muslims while they "rally round the poles" waiting for some kid to appear after drowning hundreds of years ago, and my family being in a building that has just been leveled by some muslim vermin, I choose the 20,000 lb MOAB dropped right on Mecca.
    How many virgins would that make us liable for?

    August 3, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Mahmoud , seattle , wa


    you just lost a lot of vote ,

    Shame on you , we all should look for peace not for boming holy places

    August 3, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. Just me, Sherman Texs

    I begin to see why the bible says that only a remnant will come to believe in Jesus Chriwst as our Lord and Savior. All these appeasers sound like school kids. Just ignore them and they won't hurt us. Bull. The war is coming... like it or not... and unless you want to live under a dictator, you better start thinking of how you can protect this country.

    August 3, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. Ron, Pittsburgh PA

    While that seems extreme right now, what is the alternative? When (not if) the terrorists get weapons of mass destruction, how many here or abroad must die, before someone takes action to stop it. Those countries targeted have been on the defensive way too long and if the threat of attack on their holy sites gives those funding their actions a reason to stop, I'm all for it!

    August 3, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. RAZ,Richardson TX

    Truly spoken like an American.

    This is the only language the islamist terrorist will understand !!

    August 3, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. CA

    Hey Tom Tancredo

    Today is not April fool to make jokes. What part of the world you woke up today?

    In 9/11 we lost more than 3000 people who belongs to many belief. After we lied to the whole world about WMD, we lost more than what we lost in 9/11 in the name of freedom, and we said to the world we are not against Islam as terrorist claim. There are more than 1 billion Muslims in the world and we go and attack their holy cities and what we suppose to expect from them and peace deal?

    Here is the real question. Why we make Islam or any other religion with terror. To be just we have to call Tom as Presbyterian terrorist. Wake up America, we are guided by fools and narrow minded. What more we need to wake up!!
    Call his office at 703-255-9898 or 515-268-3341 and let him know America is not behind him for another attack!!!

    August 3, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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