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. Steve R Fuchs, San Diego,CA

    Dear Sir,
    Not only you are right,but this is the best way to deal with the Islamic foundementalists.
    If you need more ideas please contact me. I was born in Israel and I am very familiar with the middle east and its religious fanatics.
    Steve R Fuchs, Ed.D.MHA

    August 3, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Imran, Longbranch NJ

    Grow up Rep Tom. Don't play media stunts at the expense of innocent peoples' feelings and beliefs.

    August 3, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  3. Aaron, Hayward CA

    Peace be upon all,
    I was about to prepare my lunch and then I read this and now I actually feel nauseous. I don't know if my feelings will be posted or even read but I feel like I want to cry out to my Brothers and Sisters in humanity via this global portal. As a human being, as an American Muslim... I feel a pain so deep in my heart right now that language simply fails to express. And YES, I DID feel this way on 9-11 and also when I read the death-toll updates on both sides of invasion of Iraq. Terror and error is not the exclusive property of Islam or Muslims. Statements like this are what cause some to demonize Americans in general and even white people in particular -but I refuse to fall into either camp on either side. Arrogance and ignorance are the Weapons of Mass Destruction of our times and I seek to join hearts with those committed to fighting the War on Error!

    August 3, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. G, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    As a Canadian all I have to say is wow, just wow.

    August 3, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  5. Joe McCoy, Oil City, PA

    I concur with Tancredo, unconventional times call for unconventional solutions.

    August 3, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. J.M., Monroe, LA

    Brilliant! And the next time the IRA sets off a car-bomb in London, England should nuke the Vatican–that'll show those Catholic terrorists! The next time some white supremacist blows up a federal building in Oklahoma, we should Jefferson Davis's homestead? No wait! The Jack Daniels distillery in Kentucky! That'll deter some rednecks all right!


    August 3, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. Oryza, Chicago, IL

    Ummmmbbb Mr. Tancredo should learn geography first. Does he know where Mecca is? It's not in Iraq, Sir! Beyond that, it's ignorant and arrogant. He must be kidding.

    August 3, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Greg, McL. IL

    One other thought, Before you just toss out this man's statement as sheer lunacy, remember that one man started making inflamatory statements against the Jews in the early 1930's. Most of the citizens and the world wrote him off as delusional before he became responsible for the destruction of Europe and a large part of the known world. The citizens of this country and especially Colorado need to make it distinctly clear that we will not stand for such sewage spewing from our elected officials mouths.

    August 3, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  9. Joe, Scottsdale, AZ.

    Good plan. Deal me in.

    August 3, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. MC, Denver Colorado

    Is that not a terrorist statement ? Sounds like it to me

    August 3, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. Bud, Ohio

    I think this is the key to preventing any future unprovoked attacts on our soil. Making a list and publishing it to the Arab world. "These are the cities or shrines that will be destroyed the next time you let terrorist do something stupid." Any future attacks would prompt further sites to be destroyed on the list.

    August 3, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  12. Ted Watson, Redmond, WA.

    Kind of like Nelson DeMille's book "WildFire", but instead of keeping it a goverment secret make it public. Cold War part 2.

    August 3, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Stefanie, Eugene, OR

    How is nuking a city that is holy for millions of Muslims that do not agree with Al-Qaeda going to help us? Terrorists incorrectly use a very peaceful religion to fuel their cause, why just add millions of people to their side in one stupid move? Thank god everyone thinks he is crazy

    August 3, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. Bob Morrow, Everett WA

    That has to be one of the stupidest, most bigoted things I've ever heard of. That would be akin to bombing St Peter's in Rome if someone who's a Southern Baptist or LDS was to do something similar. This man wants to be President, and he isn't even informed enough to know the difference between Islamic radicals and huge majority of Muslims who live in peace with the rest of us. What an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Paul, Spring, Texas

    I completely agree with his statements. "Eye for an Eye"

    August 3, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. Justin, Orlando, Florida

    i'm now "dumber" for having read this. We're in a lot of trouble if this guy calls the shots.

    August 3, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. suzanne, houston, tx

    There's a story in the Quran about an arrogant people who attempted to destroy Mecca in ancient times. "In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 1. Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant? 2.Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? 3.And He sent against them Flights of Birds,4.Striking them with stones of baked clay. 5. Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw, (of which the corn)has been eaten up." From Sura The Elephant. God is enough of a protector for the believers.

    August 3, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. Rafael Gutierrez

    Unfortunately Mr. Tancredo is not the only one . There're several "Tancredos" and other xenophobics in Washington that dont't represent the moral values of this great noble Nation. A declared enemy of any kind of a comprehensive inmigration reform he reflects the personality of someone that doesn't represent the will and the greatness of the American people ... But he's there, in a privileged position and getting some fun with the money our taxes ... Or does he works for free?

    August 3, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Brian, Florida

    It's not bombing them that will end our suffering, it's border control folks! Abolish the ACLU and get down to REAL business...racial profiling. Yes, I said it. If the threat to the US comes from middle eastern males between the ages of 18 and 30, have every one of them that enters the US strip searched, questioned and generally harassed about their intentions upon entering the US. It won't be long before the "innocent" men that regularly receive this treatment become fed up and convince their "not so innocent" "brothers" to leave the US alone so they don't get harassed by the security in the airports, train stations, etc. Or better yet, close the borders to people from countries with "extreme religious" groups until that country fixes the problem on their own or withers without US aid. TALK IS NOT GOING TO WORK PEOPLE!!! Oh, by the way, if you posted a reply and you're not from the US, mind your own business. We don't value your opinion.

    August 3, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Joe Raymath

    Hooray for President Tancredo! He speaks the language they understand!

    August 3, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. Chris, San Francisco, CA

    I am definitely a Democrat and definitely not in favor of bombing anyone else...

    HOWEVER, Mr. Tancredo's logic is not completely flawed... even if his means are. Saudi Arabia and our other so-called "allies" in the region want it both ways – they want our money and military investment, yet they do not hesitate to stab us in the back and keep funding terrorist groups (or in the very least, do little to shut off funding and supplies from them). I really think there needs to be a complete evaluation of who our allies are and aren't, because if Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are supposedly our friends, heck, our enemies look like rabid bunny rabbits by comparison...

    Saudi Arabia and the other Muslim countries need to be brought to task considerably more aggressively than the current and even past administrations have done. If it takes hitting them in the religious hoo-hah in some fashion to get them to wake up, that may be what it takes. But, I think there are better methods than bombing them that could be employed to accomplish the end goal suggested by Tancredo's logic.

    If we don't deal with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan firmly and decisively, the terrorists will continue to get funding, they will continue to get supplies, and they will continue to be a greater threat to us. Iraq is in the mess it's in primarily because of their meddling... and it's only going to get worse if we don't put our foot down...

    But, I forgot... the Saudis have us by the proverbial grabber... they've got something we can't live without: lots of oil... oh, just screw the whole argument... we're doomed...

    August 3, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. UK

    Deterrent? A fine way to start WW3 maybe – but deter nothing. A politician such as this will never understand how to tackle a problem like terrorism – and that is at it's root. Accepting that a minority of Muslims want to bomb the western world is not the attitude to take, the world should be trying to harness their influences. And punishing the other 2 billion law abiding muslims by bombing what is their holy ground two would just put almost half the world against the US.
    I'd like to say this guy didn't think before he spoke but it seems he didn't think at all.

    "To tackle tthe terrorists you haveto take away their cause, their injustice, and there's a lot of injustice in the world" – Serj Tankian

    August 3, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. No one you know! Charlotte, NC

    I understand the absurdity of his comments, and logically it makes little sense; unless your desire is to inflame the entire Islamic world. However, where are all these peace loving Muslims? And what are they doing to deter the fanatic, fear-propogating fringe elements of their religion? Speak softly and carry a big stick!

    August 3, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  24. Steve, Parker, Colorado

    As a resident of Parker, Colorado – I'm a constituent of Tom Tancredo. I support his view on what our reaction should be if attacked in another 9/11 incident 100%. We have to realize, that we are at war. We didn't want it, and still don't. To those of you who say "no" – what's your solution, let them bomb us with nuclear weapons, or chemical warfare – and just sit back? We are at war and should use whatever force necessary.

    August 3, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Jane Smithson, Houston, Texas

    May God bless you Mr. Tancredo and .... go to the Church this Sunday and ask your pastor/priest/clergyman if he or she will find your idea is in line with Jesus' teaching. I think Jesus is crying now and the entire sacred souls are devastated by the idea .....

    August 3, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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