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. B, denver, Co

    His comments show how ignorant he is of foreign affairs. all allys in the middle east regardless of how strong ties are will not stand by america if they attacked muslim holy sites. Come on retaliate on muslim holy sites, he's no better than the terrorists. With his statement he basically says that ALL muslims are responsible for terrorist attacks, which is ridiculous. He says “This shows that we mean business,” from my point of view his suggestion would mean the beginning of a never ending world war. He is a state representative, he should be more aware of his naive statements.

    August 3, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. bill, new jersey

    I think it is a great idea. We need to identify the enemy,Islam, and let them know that we will fight back. The moslems have no problem killing Christians and destroying Christian churches. Why should we not hit them where it hurts.

    August 3, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Jack, Howell NJ

    Finally, somebody to deal with these animals the only way THEY understand. I hate violence. But enough is enough. Like the bible says, an eye for an eye...

    August 3, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Jean Rosenfeld, Pacific Palisades, California

    Tom Tancredo's "option" of detering another terrorist attack by bombing Mecca and Medina would fulfill al-Qaida's prophecy that the United States is attacking Islam, not terrorism. That would make them appear truthful and moral. Is that the message about al-Qaida we want to send to the world?

    It is as if Saudi Arabia were to "deter" the United States from attacking Mecca by bombing Washington D.C.

    Now does that make sense?

    For the record, bombing Mecca and Medina would make us the religious terrorists, since most Muslims have nothing to do with al-Qaida.
    Jean Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
    historian of religion and violence

    August 3, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    If this guy gets a chance to push the red button, I (a White American male citizen) would probably take up arms against the U.S.

    August 3, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. D. Simpson, Orlando FL

    I support that. NYC and WTC are American Icons. The attackers chose them because of thier iconic status. Perhaps a real threat on thier icons would generate a great deal of self policing.

    August 3, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Jason

    Amen to that! This is the 1st idea to make sense. That would really make the "Moderate Muslim" stop turning a blind eye to the extremists. If we threaten this and a terrosist attack happens the blame falls at the hands of the terrorist attackers. They can't take hostage all that we value and not think we won't do the same in return!

    August 3, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. PMC, Capitola, CA

    Real smart guy you elected in Colorado. Way to go folks. Nice work.

    August 3, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Mitchell Henry, Naperville, IL

    I mean come on sequels are a great thing but I don't think Crusades II Middle East Must die, is not a very good working title but I guess we could then look forward to Crusades III Third times a Charm?

    This is the worst thing I have heard in a long time. I would expect this from a naive middle schooler, not a "well informed" presidential candidate. How pathetic he should step aside NOW...

    August 3, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. UK

    Is'nt that called terrorism.
    CNN should be put behind bars for incitment to terrorism !!!

    August 3, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Sanjida-Queens, NY

    First and foremost I want to thank the people in here who doesn't support this person's idea. I am not here to comment on Mr Tancredo, just want to shed some light. If I was not Muslim I would be pissed as hell like some of you guys are here. I absolutely understand where your anger is coming from. However, There are millions and million and muslims out there. Not just the ones in Middle East but in Asia, Europe, Noth America, just about every corner of the globe. We are sick and tired of these terrorist using the name of Islam for thier own incentives. Half the muslim countries around the world are 3rd world countires, so therefore, they can't fight against these terrorists. Some muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE are our(USA) allies. What I'm trying to say is not ALL Muslims are terrorist and targeting Mecca would just make things worse. It will make every Muslim in the world mad. Countries such as, Albania, Turkey, Bangladesh, Bahrain, UAE and countless others have done nothing to America then why should America punish them for few bad apples.

    August 3, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Mrs. America

    I always try to say something worthwhile and constructive, but I'm at a loss on this one. What a moron.

    August 3, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Mark, Porter, Ohio

    Good for him. I'm tired of radical Islamists being catered to. If violence and death is what they want, give it to them.

    August 3, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. seattle washington

    to Jason, Richmond

    I am talking about that Idiot , sorry don't have time for you , I still believe in peace , oklahoma boming did not happen by muslim, that does not make all christian bad

    August 3, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Temujin Jumlani, Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines

    I suggest that this guy have a lecture on what Islam is from a knowledgeable person. Comments like this usually stem out from ignorance and disinformation. Moreover, he should take time to go to the ME and look over it's history. A research on world history and the role of America, both good and bad, should also be on his list.

    August 3, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Matt, NYC

    "Whats more important,new york(the center of the gobal economy, millions of lives, the countries’ finacial capitol) or a mosque with a rock in the middle of it?"

    Martin from Toronto, are you suggesting we bomb Israel? I think CNN should block you from posting you anti-semite.

    August 3, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Frank,New York,NY

    Thats a very good idea!!
    Then lets watch all 1.4 billion "sucide" bombers destroy every inch of this planet.
    This guy is better than Bush

    August 3, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. S, Los angeles CA

    finally...someone has balls to say it. we can't all just sit here and wait for some catastrphic attack (like 9/11 or worst). the terrorist are openly saying how they are trying to destroy us, and everything that is important to us. Just like with Iran, that has been taunting us and the UN because neither of us is doing anything about their nuclear power, the terrorist are doing the same thing. they know, we have to be a politcally correct world power. i say screw it. they bomb us we bomb them. regardless of what country they are, ally or not. that country's government should be well aware and responsible of the terrorists in their country and put an end to them. they cant tell us they support us and let terror organization that want to harm us exist within their borders.

    August 3, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Ed, California Maryland

    Yep, Mecca is in Saudi Arabia, and they are "Supposed" to be our allies. Where is Osama Bin Laden From ??? Saudi Arabia! Its always fun to see the Liberal answers to "suggestions" such as this. Ohh we can't do this or that we'll piss somebody off. God forbid we piss somebody off we might not be able to buy our cheap stuff we import from all over the world or we might hurt someones feelings. Unbelievable we've forgotten 9/ll so quickly and what the Islamist and that religion have done. Whats it gonna take folks another attack on New York or one of our other cities. This is just another tool in the tool box we have to use.

    I'm all for a Crusade, its coming just a matter of when.....

    August 3, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. David, Salinas, CA

    BTW, Tancredo got a psych deferment to get out of service in Vietnam.

    August 3, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. Chris, Los Angeles CA

    Fantastic Idea. Jail relatives of suicide bombers while you are at it!

    August 3, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. ARO, Troy, NY

    This is the (a)moral equivalent of saying "If a Christian Right-to-Life advocate kills a doctor who performs abortions, then pro-choice advocates are justified in bombing churches in retaliation."

    What an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |


    August 3, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Dan Kenton

    Islamaphobia at work again. Terrorists can bomb our cities, our churches, our childrens' schools but we can't even talk about attacking what is about the only thing they care about....Allah! Until Americans learn to stop pandering to this group, we'll never be able to stop them.

    August 3, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. queeny, Newark, CA

    When did this become a religious war? I never thought I would see the day that Hitler would re-incarnate himself. I guess the day has come. No surprise he's a republican.

    August 3, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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