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. Rich - Madison, WI

    I must say that I agree 100%. This is a war against ISLAM wether we want to believe it or not. Muslims will not stop short of global domination. Only the elimination of their backward religion can save the planet now.

    August 4, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  2. RGKahn, N. Bergen, New Jersey

    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 Representative Tancredo wants to bomb Mecca and/or Medina as a "deterrent" to an attack on the US not in reply to a nuclear attack on us. What this shows is that the Representative from Colorado is a schmuck.

    Words fail me. We would have a war on the scale of both World Wars combined. There are over a One BILLION Muslims in the world. If 5 to 10% of them were radical, that would mean app 50-100 million would fall in that group. It boggles the mind.

    August 4, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Dan Silagi

    As the mosque in Jerusalem is almost as holy a site as the city of Mecca, maybe we should bomb Jerusalem too. Who cares if we kill thousands of innocent Jews? Tancredo doesn't seem to mind if we kill thousands of innocent Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism.

    If we're attacked again, we need to wipe out the terrorist training camps in Pakistan, and possibly the entire Iranian government, military, and infrastructure, if Iran is involved.

    But bombing Mecca makes even less sense than bombing Dresden (not a military target) during WWII.

    Tom Tancredo is an embarrassment to the USA, and to all real conservatives, myself included

    August 4, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. Jerald Blankenship, Columbus, Ohio

    Why is everyone so up in arms over Tancredo's statement?

    I am actually of the opinion that he is being a little too conservative; the war on terror could be ended rather quickly if we were to immediately atomize Medina, Mecca, Mashhad, Qom, and Jakarta.

    After all, radiation a common, effective treatment for killing cancer.

    August 4, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. Sean Chin

    Just when I thought only common people are ignorant... now I know why Bush is the president in the first place....

    August 4, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  6. Greg, Charlotte, NC

    He cannot be serious. What a moron. That will only encourage insurgents more.

    August 4, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  7. Dave

    As much amusement to kill innocent muslims bombing the holy sites would just enrage a large group of currently unaffiliated muslims. If we want to commit genocide the US constitution pretty much allows it. Lets not beat around the bush though if you want to kill muslims in "revenge killings" say it.

    August 4, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. Sergei, Almaty, Kazakhstan

    I have never heard anything more stupid than that. Okay, well if you bomb Mecca, then YOU are the terrorist. And then Iran will show you, that they "mean business" as well.

    Instead of stopping any kind of war or attacks, America (which advocates Christian religion and "peace and harmony") does everything in an opposite direction. If Bush attacked and colonized Iraq only for his own financial reasons, Mr. Tancredo wants to attack Mecca...just because he THINKS it would prevent war... What can I say? He has to be in the mental hospital, not in the politics

    August 4, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  9. A. Reza

    Another idiot republican ... Who are these guys ?

    August 4, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  10. Douglas K, Phoenix, AZ

    I agree with Tom Tancredo 100%.

    August 4, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  11. WOW people are stupid

    It is unbelievable that this guy is actually thinking of doing that. Oh yeah, since one terrorist attacks, lets retaliate on the whole religion. Haven't we learned people. No wonder he is low on the polls.

    August 4, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  12. Caryn Moyle, Pittsburgh PA

    Tom Tancredo needs to be told that hate does not defeat hate – it only aggravates it.

    August 4, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Actually this is exactly what bin Laden and company would love to see happen. You think bin Laden cares about Mecca? What Osama wants is a war between Muslims and the rest of the world. Bombing Mecca would give him the perfect recruiting tool. For every Muslim killed at Mecca bin Laden would get 10 new recruits for jihad.

    Terrorists have no love of life... I wouldn't be surprised if bin Laden himself bombed Mecca and blamed it on the U.S.. That's how sick terrorists are.

    August 4, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  14. Bob, Pacific Grove, Ca

    LOL!! This just proves what everyone already knows: when it comes to new ideas the Republicans are a politically bankrupt party. Unbelievable!!

    August 4, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  15. Jennifer Cincinnati

    Idiodic. An eye for an eye makes everyone blind.

    August 4, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  16. name, nabeel

    I am a muslim .. dont even think of it. you can kill as many muslim as you people want any where in this world with out a reason but honestly when your turn comes just think that you deserve it for what you have done

    August 4, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. Bob, Pacific Grove, Ca

    Just another Republican extremist making an outrageous remark....Kind of reminds you of a young Hitler.....Looking at the comments on this blog, this guy definitely has a bright future in the GOP!!

    August 4, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. ghazali

    I have seen this kind of attitude in the internet before,even worse. Well, will it serve the purpose? It will create more animosity, hatred and continuous cycle of violence and death. It will prove that the Bush's war is really another crusade. Cristian and muslim will be fighting for another 400 years, and the jews will be able finally to build their temple mount on the ruin of Al Agsa. It is easy to stop the war, get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and stop supporting Israel. Please, How strong can a man be? A mosquito could kill a king in a well fortified bunker. Human body is just a seat for the man's soul. Have you seen a dead body? It is just another fertilizer. Life is a gift, and we cherish and appreciate it. Let us live in hormany. But if Mecca is bombed then we will enter the unknown territory. Bless us all.

    August 4, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  19. Sickened by people's ignorance, NY

    To: Bernardho, New York

    They are called Muslims not "Mahommedans" so before you post any comment go EDUCATE YOURSELF!!! and that is valid for everyone who NEVER got to know a Muslim on a personal level, NEVER visited the Middle East, and NEVER took time to ACTUALLY read the Koran and see what Islam is REALLY about!!!
    Please... This world would be a better place if we would all take the time to EDUCATE OURSELVES!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2007 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  20. Michael Donovan, MN

    RAZ, Richardson TX wrote: "Truly spoken like an American."
    It would be very scary if all of us (Americans) spoke like that! So SHAME ON YOU!!!

    August 4, 2007 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  21. Katrina, Missouri

    How can anyone dare to make a suggestion such as this one in public debate today. Yes, lets show the world that we care nothing about diplomacy and exasterbate an already volatile situation by bombing sites that the entire Islamic World (not just the extremists consider holy. I wonder what he would say as a Christian if someone intentionally bombed Bethlehem or Galalee....What an idiot. Hasn't he ever heard the saying that Violence only begets more Violence...Maybe some of the people in this country need to remember that....

    August 4, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  22. Mirza A, Lawrence, KS

    The fact that a group of people, who call themselves Muslims, commit crimes against humanity does not mean that all Muslims should be blamed or their holy sites destroyed. This would be like labeling all Christians as blood-thirsty or calling for the destruction of the Vatican since "Christian" Popes and monarchs ordered the killing of thousands upon thousands of non-Christians, women, and anyone who disagreed with the Church in Europe and the Americas. However, we all know that most Christians are peaceful and tolerant people.

    There is a group of Muslims who also advocate peace and "love for all, hatred for none" (their website is

    P.S. I challenge anyone who believes that "Islam teaches people to blow themselves up or kill innocent civilians and that they will get rewarded in Heaven with virgins for doing so," to find where these claims are stated in the Holy Quran (where all of our teaching comes from). If you cannot find such a teaching in the Holy Quran, then remember that you will be answerable to God for all the false claims you make.

    August 4, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  23. Karen, Avondale, PA

    Someone look this up for me. Wasn't it Pres. Bush who campaigned in California prior to his first election, making appeals to the illegal immigrants to be able to vote with some kind of ID card. Do you think his train of thought then fueled even more the frenzy to have them cross the boarder. They are breaking our foundations, and Health care institutions. They either get legal and support our country as I do, or they get out.

    August 4, 2007 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  24. Jesse, Clearwater, FL

    This is sad, but it might be the only way to prevent ourselves from being attacked by radical muslims. I disagree with most of Tancredo's ideas, but he has a good point.

    August 4, 2007 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  25. Marilyn, Glenwood Springs, CO

    That is the most ridiculous comment I've ever heard. No wonder the rest of the world hates us – it's hot-headed, fundamentalist extremists like TANCREDO that fuel the negative sentiments against the USA. Bombing holy sites is the last thing that will "deter" the so-called terrorists from attacking us. If anything, that will simply fan the flames.

    I'm ashamed of this guy – comments like that should get him ousted from public office. Those are hardly the view points of the constituency. What a piece of work this one is!

    August 4, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
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