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. john,peabody mass.

    He hit it right on the button.We must give them somthing to be afraid of,instead of waiting for threats and fear to consume our feeling of safety and security in our every day lives.The only answer is to take away sites that are most important in thier history and culture.

    August 3, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Austin, Greenville, SC

    How many innocent lives would be lost in a strike on Mecca and/or Medina?

    How would terrorists react to such an attack?

    August 3, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Cootycat

    In WWII the Japanese fought to the death for their "God" the emperor: sound familiar. How did we beat them? We nuked them, and made the emperor renounce his deityship. No religion, WWII over. For a muslim to be saved, they have to perform the Hajj. They cannot perform the Hajj if Mecca and Medina is radioactive dust. The first tenant of Islam is, There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet. Allah's house is literally the Ka'aba in Mecca. Allah's house radioactive dust, The holy city of Mecca, the city of the prophet, the black stone from heaven in the Ka'aba, all radioactive dust. It's over. No religion, war on terror over.

    August 3, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. Alex, New York

    Once again politicians like Tancredo and Obama prove that they have no clue about the world they live on!These kind of dumb talks will not help American troops in foreign countries...........

    August 3, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Robert Hall

    I'm with you Tom. I hate to say it but we are bound to fight in accordance with the Geneva and Hague conventions but our enemies are not bound to do so. An eye for an Eye I say, good bye Mecca!

    August 3, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Rod Burnette

    Jihad (in Arabic, "struggle") is a central duty of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: the struggle within the soul, defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, which denies unbelievers equality of human rights and dignity, is available today for anyone with the will and means to bring it to life.

    August 3, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Rick, Englewood, CO

    If Jalal Talabani said, "If you invade Iraq, we'll blow up Salt Lake City" there is nobody who would find that a reasonable or sane statement. It's terrifying that this man is actually a part of Congress. His statement is not a deterrent, it's an incitement.

    August 3, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Charles Piper

    Tom Tancreado is reaching for something that might have a desired effect on the muslim extremeist; I have seen nothing else that might have the desired effect. I believe that to follow the lead of Black Jack Pershing is the way to stop these murderous religious thugs in thier tracks. They do not mind killing innocents in the name of thier religion... perhaps it is time to destroy thier religios icons.

    August 3, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Osman Birgeoglu, Ph.D.

    If some Christians are doing something wrong in Ireland, you cannot bomb the Vatican. Likewise, if some crazy Muslims(!) are doing terrible things you cannot bomb the Holy shrines of 1.8 BILLION Muslims. This guy is playing with fire as big as the Sun in the sky. He is absolutely crazy. I am outraged.

    August 3, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Jack Quinlan NY

    This is something I advocated shortly after 9/11. As far as the holy sites being in an allie's country, Al Queda already think we defile the holy sites by our presence in Saudi Arabia. When Lebanon was comming apart in the 80s and insurgents were kidnapping professors from the American University, a diplomat from the USSR was snatched from the street. The soviets knew who did it but not where he was, a couple days later a package arrived at his home. It was delivered to him in his hideout and when it was opened he found his brother's head in it. His group didn't target the citizens of the USSR after that.

    It's not punishment unless it hurts.

    August 3, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Lois, Fresno, California

    OH YEAH, just what we need...another cowboy.

    Who in their right mind thinks it is a goood idea to bomb ANY city or religious locatiuon? this makes us how much better than our terrorist enemies?

    Is there a single sane person running for any office?

    August 3, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Dave B.

    I have no problem with doing just that, If we can prove that it was Muslums that were behind any attack.

    August 3, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Los Angeles, CA

    While we're bashing Tancredo on his stupid comment please take a moment to go evaluate your favorite candidate's rhetoric on these issues. You should be just as alarmed when they claim they "won't take a nuclear option off the table" in regards to Iran (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Hunter, Gulliani, Romney, McCain). And no it's not any different. These people will not stand down from our current policy. It's frying pan or the fire in their world-view.

    Thanks Tom for clarifying what a lot of us already knew. There is only one viable conservative in the race. He happens to be for peace. His name is Ron Paul.

    August 3, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  14. Marilyn Brewster, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    Many Muslims are already upset that the US has military in the country where Mecca and Medina are. How is bombing those sites going to make Muslims less angry and make the US more safe? Thankfully, Tom Tancredo has no chance of becoming President.

    August 3, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Afzaal Khan, Calgary, Canada

    Thank you America. The way you have commented and condemened the good congressman's statement. From a Muslim please accept my thanks.

    August 3, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. ali vonal

    Wow, Tancredo proves that the Republican Party is still full of bad ideas. Hey America, would you like to know how to get all 1.4 billion muslims to want to come an blow stuff up? Bomb Mecca.
    Idiots abound in the GOP.

    August 3, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Lloyd Gayman, Sunrise, Florida

    Hmm. Supposedly Hitler considered bulldozing the Vatican but decided it would not be a good idea.

    But let's look at some numbers.

    Based on polls, 88% of Americans believe in God.

    Also based on polls, 90% of Americans think we really did land a man on the moon.

    My unofficial analysis shows that about 93% of the CNN bloggers disagree with the congressman from Colorado. The only thing I can think that compares to this number is when 93% of the citizens of western Nebraska voted incredibly popular football coach Tom Osborne to Congress. (He was unopposed.)

    The only number that apparently exeeds that is from an earlier (Muslim) blogger who said "He is being a racist with that comment, lumping all muslims into that 5% of extremists who are wrong in their interpretations of the Koran. " So that leaves 95% of all Muslims who think Bin Laden and company just don't get it.

    Tancredo not only doesn't get it, he never had it.

    August 3, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Mark, Burlington Ontario, Canada

    So bombing the two biggest holy sites in the world is going to solve all the al-Qaeda problems. That's great. Now let's deal with the outcome. I'd say about two million more Islamic militants for starters, followed by terrorist strikes everywhere in the world, and finally a never ending war in the Middle East. Fantastic. When does it start?

    August 3, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Colby, Lakewood, Ohio

    It's an Idea. That's all. Not a plan or even an option for that matter. I like the fact the the man would be willing to go to extremes to protect the country.

    August 3, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Marty, Dallas, TX

    What an idiot. How did a fool like this ever manage to get elected? I thought people in Colorado were smarter than that.

    August 3, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Rita Ali, Peoria, IL

    Tancredo should have his head examined. Action such as he suggests would bring about the worst result this world has ever seen. Bombing Mecca and Medina is unspeakable.

    August 3, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. James, Canton, OH

    I think its a great idea.

    August 3, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Justin, Sanford ME

    I see a lot of "wow, what a nut" but it is this line of thinking, Mutally Assured Destruction, that prevented nuclear exchange with the former Soviet Union.
    That policy was also "insane", but it was precisely its insanity, fully commited to by a nations leaders that prevented a superpower war beyond simple conventional proxy wars.

    August 3, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Carl San Francisco, CA

    As Americans, if there is anything that we can do to help calm down anti-American sentiment, then we should be doing it. On the other hand, I keep hearing that "it is only a tiny percentage of Muslims who are acting out by becoming terrorists, and the vast majority of Muslims are hard working, normal people." Well this is a call to all the hard working, normal people of the Muslim world: Take care of this problem on your own soil, on your own terms. Why let a few of your countrymen make a bad name for the entire region? Stop these terrorists, and we won't have to.

    August 3, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Alam-Brooklyn NY

    These so called Muslim use Islam for thier own gain. They want you to bomb a holy site like Mecca. Only few radical muslims are creating havoc in the world compare to the 1.2 billion muslims out there. Bomb a Mecca you got 1.2 billion people coming after you. Keep in mind that while these people strap home made bombs on themselves and blow up people, we hired Einstien to make Atomic Bomb to nuke Hiroshima. We went to Iraq and destroyed a whole country when it was osama that bombed twin tower. do you get my point here. Most of us believe islams teachings tells its people to kill all non-muslim but does christianity tells its people to kill innocent civilains, I think not. We should not have to stoop down to these radical muslim's level. Not all muslims are bad. We are bigger than that and thats why we are the greatest country in the world. PERIOD

    August 3, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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