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. Mark, Houston, Texas

    I thought of this 5 years ago, and everyone looked at me like I'd just landed whenever I tossed the idea out. They seemed to be concerned we would alienate the supposed peaceful Muslim majority if we did something like this. The same peaceful majority that sits and quietly relishes every Al Queda attack and refuses to verbally speak out against the insanity. So what would we have to lose? These are the same people that say we would anger the world. So what would be new there? They're all angry out of jealousy anyway.

    August 3, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Brendan, Philadelphia, PA

    That is the smartest thing Ive ever heard.

    August 3, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. John Morris, Rome, GA

    What have we become? We are a nation who claims to believe in religious freedom, yet some of our political leaders are advocating bombing religious sites.

    Whatever ignorant men and women like Tancredo think, there are millions upon millions of Muslims in the world who don't support terrorism. To advocate destroying the most sacred sites of their religion because of the actions of a few is monstrous. It reinforces the belief of many that the US government is run by Christian fanatics who don't actually belive in religious freedom, but who only want to see their religion elevated above all others.

    How is Tancredo different from a member of Al-Qaeda? His proposed action is as evil as anything Islamic extremeists propose.

    I pray for the US...we are becoming a nation as mired in hatred and destruction as the Islamic extremeists we claim to despise.

    August 3, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  4. Larry Lee

    Another absolutely scathingly brilliant idea by Tom Tancredo. I agree completely. The only thing these barbarians understand is violence and if they want to bring it, than they should plan on receiving it too. It is better to give than to receive. Up to this point, we have been just to darn nice to these terroists. I agree with Tom, make them think twice about it.

    August 3, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. Brett Omaha,NE

    I think its a great idea, under the right circumstances. For all of you that paid attention in history class, its called Mutually Assured Destruction. Kept the whole world from being nuked before, why not again?

    August 3, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Michael, Des Moines, Iowa,

    This sorry excuse of a human doesnt deserve to represent any single American. He has no respect, decency or shame to suggest such a reprehensible thing. He has no respect for any faith, person or religion. SHAME ON HIM!

    August 3, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. Ernst, LA, FL

    Finally I guess, thats the only language this kind of people understand!

    August 3, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. Adrian Snare,York haven, PA

    What is scary about this is, this .. There are others who feel the same way.. I would too if I were a 3 year old....

    August 3, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  9. Jay, Florida

    We have free speech in America liberal fool

    August 3, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. DG

    I agree!!!

    August 3, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  11. bud, San Francisco, CA

    I agree with Tom. However, I seriously doubt that CNN will show that agreement.

    August 3, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  12. Joe, Yorktown, VA

    Hey D. Simpson from Orlando, Florida, how about you think about it for a minute? If you bomb Mecca you are bombing your common man's holiest of shrines. Muslim America, not to mention Muslims in every nation, would never stand for such an outrageous act. You do not understand apparently that MILLIONS of Muslims live shoulder-to-shoulder with you in the United States and abide the Qu'ran's message of peace and good will. The people who struck America in 2001 are EXTREMISTS, just like Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you think it's useful to bomb Topeka, Kansas to stop them from protesting soldiers' funerals and calling for America's destruction?

    August 3, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. Miranda, Anaheim CA

    He's got my vote! I've said this for the past six years. We are in a new kind of war. If Islamic terrorists attack our country or our people in other countries, they should know that they risk the destruction of their holy sites. They don't respect human life, but they sure fly off the handle if someone looks cross-eyed at a copy of the Koran. Taking out Mecca (and thrown in Medinah, too) would be great. Let the other adherents of Islam police their own people.

    August 3, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. Anonymous, Houston, TX

    It's refreshing to see that most of the comments posted agree that Tancredo is in need of psychiatric help.

    August 3, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. Jack lynch, Culpeper Virginia

    If we can level German cities knowing that we would be burning to death the elderly, women and children (given that most men were in uniform and away fighting) and in so doing destroy parts of our own culture to include cathedrals then we sure can level muslim holy sites. This is war and it is total war with a people that do not seek our surrender but our conversion or death! Remember September 11, or Beslan, or any other brutal act comitted in the name of Allah and flatten Mecca the next time a child, a cripple or hundreds of other innocents are murdered in the name of Allah.

    August 3, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Jim Farnham

    It may be extreme but so are the threats against us. I applaud a public person who has the guts to say what many already think. Playing cat and mouse in the hills and desserts is "their' game ...level the field.

    August 3, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. Renaldo, Omaha, NE

    This is possibly the worse idea I've ever heard in my entire life.

    Some of these individuals are willing to blow themselves up for what they believe in. You can't deter a *fanatic*.

    There are thousands and thousands of insurgents in the middle east, but there are *millions* of peaceful Muslims throughout the world, and destroying their holy sites would hurt these people just to get at a vicious minority.

    It's sad to see people mistake Tancredo's short-sighted cowboy bravado for "guts." Courage is a valuable trait, but not when it comes at the expense of reason.

    August 3, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Clint

    Great idea. Next time a Christian person performs an act of terrorism let's bomb Jerusalem, the Vatican, Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey and some church in Colorado. That'll show we mean business. If a Hindu does it, we'll slaughter all the cows on the planet.

    August 3, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Tom Wagner, Milford Michigan

    Yes, Tancredo is right! Terrorize the terrorists!! Bomb the holy sites, not totally but partially. Remember it is their goal to totally wipe us off the planet isn,t it?? Do we continue to wait to wait to be hit?? Like sitting ducks?? Millions of lives are at stake!
    Not Naive!!!!

    August 3, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. M.B. Sacramento, Ca

    Everyone seems to be missing the point..... In the fanatical Mulslim Islamist mindset and the sworn doctrine they live by, they will not stop bombing, killing, or attacking us until there is world wide Islamic domination (by force or voluntary conversion). Hopefully, no where in the near future will an idea like this ever have to come to be, BUT I assure you if we do not find some other way, politically, or diplomatically, then this idea might actually be the only true deterrent to stop these crazy idealogical zealots!!

    August 3, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. Jacob, Charleston, IL

    Nice to see this level of negative response, and then another Ticker article blasts Obama for saying that nuclear strikes should not be an option. Good level of consistency. Hillary will be proud.

    August 3, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. Bonnie, Calgary Alberta

    It's politicians like him that make me happy I moved to Canada.

    August 3, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Susan

    How about a happy bomb?

    August 3, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. Sheeba Wajih, Jamaica NY

    way to go tom! bombing mecca and medina is REALLY the solution to all of this! wow. what a freakin IDIOT! if a single bee attacks you and you go destroying the entire beehive, do you REALLY think u'r gonna be safe after that? NO. duh. vote for this peabrain and that will one of the biggest mistakes of American history. lemme not get started with a lot of other mistakes America has made. attack mecca and medina, and muslims around the ENTIRE WORLD will be ready to fight. not just muslims. also the sane non-muslims out there as well. so pretty much, the majority of the world's population–and not just the muslim terrorists, who by the way make up a very small fraction of muslims all over the world– will become a threat to America. and if that happens, then you'll have Tom Tancredo to thank. bottom line: do NOT vote for him!

    August 3, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. Jay, Concord California

    I like Mr. Tancredo's enthusiasm, but that is the most irresponsible comment I've ever heard. Mr. Obama has not done much better by suggesting he wants to go to war with Pakistan, directly contradicting his YouTube debate statement that we should talk with the leaders of the world - a response that met with overwhelming approval.

    Look, I'm not impressed by this one-up-manship. We have to find a way to live together with the peoples of the world in some sort of compromise. We need to escape the attack mentality and look for a world where we can build on our strengths and common humanity.

    August 3, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
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