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. David Rochlin, Ione, Washington State

    This actually proves that he was absolutely right to talk only about immigration to the exclusion of everything else. Too bad he didn't stick to his diet...

    August 4, 2007 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  2. Travis, Austin, TX


    I think he was meaning to come across as figurative versus literal….. Of course liberals can not distinguish this. He should issue an apology for insulting the non radical non militant Muslim community.
    Seriously, he was most likely wanting the American people to think what can we do to make these radicals think twice? I bet he issues apology or politically hes done."

    -One day, conservatives will learn how to spell correctly. That day is not very soon.

    There is NO excuse in the world that is good enough to rationalize "eye for an eye" punishment; there's a reason nearly the entire world has left Hammurabi by the wayside. It only serves to incite more violence and perpetuates the circle of hate. The only way to get the terrorists to stop is by not making their ideology appealing, and to do so through positive reinforcement, not negative. Learn some basic psychology and sociology, let alone political science.

    August 4, 2007 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  3. Jed Cruz

    How is he able to call himself a republican candidate for presidency for saying such nonsense??!! He obviously made this statement not using logic or a throught process of a formalized education. Furthermore, threatening to bomb a site of located in US ally's country prooves this candidate's lack of insight to foriegn policy. Anyway, I think what he's doing is appealing to his millions of pundits who are complete idiots and lack anything I just mentioned above. Unfortunately, there's too many people that are like that in this country. God save us if this man becomes president!

    August 4, 2007 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  4. matt, philly, PA

    wow, he just doesn't get it does he?

    August 4, 2007 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  5. Gerald Clare, San Luis Obispo California

    Crazy AND Stupid. If a small vicious sect of Roman Catholics were attacking us would anyone advocate threatening to bomb the Vatican as a tactic. I don't think so.

    Equally stupid to threaten Mecca insulting and radicalizing a billion Muslims (and fifty million Americans).

    August 4, 2007 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  6. TC chicago


    August 4, 2007 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  7. B. Altermath, Berne, Switzerland

    With his horrid and violent threats, Rep. Tancredo greatly endangers our Christian "holy sites" – e.g. St. Peter's in the Vatican! Please, in the name of God's love and peace, stop this spiral of violence. Don't elect war-mongers and violent politicians!

    August 4, 2007 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  8. A. A. Khalil

    As a resident of the Arab Penninsula and educated, in part, in the USA I would think that the leaders of terror will be extremely happy for Mr. Tancredo's comment.
    You got their vote, Tom!
    You should not be surprised if they send you a 24k miniature as your bomb hits the minaret, should you be pushed to do so in your future as US president.

    Through history, Mecca was hit twice for a similar reason; a brawl between the good, the bad and the ugly.
    Contrary to the infemous western, the good has always been a bystander.

    Thanks for listenning tom!
    A friend of Independance Inst. and an advocate to TAPOR.

    August 4, 2007 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  9. JOJO, Doha, State of Qatar

    Colorado Rep. Tom Tacredo's strategy of preventing attacks to his homeland is VERY, VERY ABSURD, CRAZY and RIDICULOUS!!
    Instead of thinking how to get everyone from all sectors of religion on the table and discuss the ways and possibilities of defeating this terrorism.. he is complicating more the situation by involving innocent pilgrims of this holy sites.
    I am a Catholic Christian and I abhor the treatment of people such as this threat coming from a too ambitious but little minded presidential nominee hopefull. I hope AMERICANS dump him to the trashcan...

    August 4, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  10. Jeremiah Bemidji MN

    It seems that bombing things has served us well thus far. Hows about we just level everything down to powder, stick the stars and stripes on top of whatever remains, and declare ourselves the uncontested victor in the "War on Terror". Mecca hates freedom.

    August 4, 2007 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  11. Lee Churchill, San Mateo, CA

    Interesting "deterrent": threatening to spark an all out Jihad by bombing Muslim holy cities. Too bad Colorado couldn't deter him from becoming a Congressman.

    August 4, 2007 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  12. Sam

    This is going to start a war more like, muslims these days are so in their religion and If such thing happens then their will be a war.
    Us muslims want peace not war and what Tom Tancredo has said is unthinkable and outrageous, If they attack the Mecca then USA will find them selves in a spot which they wish they were never in, After reading this I have been shocked.

    August 4, 2007 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  13. Blackwatch Studio, NewYork/London/Miami

    this is a very smart man.
    And thanks to CNN for putting this on the front page

    August 4, 2007 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  14. Bill, Charleston SC

    It'd about damn time someone had the stones to say what I've felt since 9/11 without watering down their thoughts for fear of politcal fallout.
    Tom Tancredo, you have my full support.

    August 4, 2007 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. z, MI

    i offically have no idea what ideals and principles our government officials hold on to anymore. its like they run on their own constitution.
    God help us.

    August 4, 2007 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  16. Jack English Bakersville, N.C.

    Bomb Mecca? An incendary comment that can only offer outrage to the Islamic community! This is dangerous and foolhardy rhetoric! It can only incite the moderate Muslims to feel threatened. This is truly scary rhetoric! Bay, stifle this talk before we're in the middle of the 3rd Crusade!

    August 4, 2007 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  17. Jack Holmes

    After reading through about a hundred of these comments, I am convinced that most of the authors could not or would not fight for their country under ANY circumstances...and if they did could not escape a wet paper bag. Jack

    August 4, 2007 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  18. mario germino, jeddah

    The most irresponsible statement of an official ever.

    Tancredo deserves a good lesson on diplomacy.

    He must have forgotten that the root cause of all these evil is not the Muslims.

    It is the continued occupation of Israel of Palestinian lands, killing of its people and destruction of their homes.

    August 4, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  19. Don Mayer, Buffalo, NY

    One question Rep Tancredo.....
    Are you insane?

    August 4, 2007 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  20. Jeremy, Auckland, NZ

    I totally agree.

    August 4, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  21. Anon, Kuwait city, kuwait

    To explain to everyone how important mecca is to the 1.5 billion muslims around the world.. Muslims pray 5 times a day, and to prey, it is a must to face Mecca whilstpreying. When every muslim is buried, they are buried with head facing Mecca.
    If this bombing did happen, there will be no more moderate muslims anywhere, all will become "extremists".
    Bombing their holiest sites is quite simply suicide, it will not stop terrorism, it will open the pandora's box. How will the US stop waves upon waves of millions of terrorists then?
    This guy has lost his marbles completely, he's lost the plot! Quite simply, he's crazy.

    August 4, 2007 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  22. jason, sapulpa ok

    Please vote. I read many of you will not give Mr. Tancredo your vote, thank goodness, but please regester and vote.I think it's great Mr. Tancredo has the freedom to speak his mind,and I think it's great we have a chance to influance politics.We need to do more, alot more, to get this country back on track. please regester and vote.please!

    August 4, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  23. slinkybender, New York

    So when the Islamists come here with a nuclear device and set it off, what do we do?

    And when they come a second and third time, with more bigger devices, what do we do?

    And when there are millions of Americans dead, and the country has been turned into some super police state, what do we do?

    August 4, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  24. noah tokyo jp

    MAD for people who could care less about killing, my, my Mr. Tancredo I hope you had fun in Washington because your going back to whatever funny farm they found you in.

    August 4, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  25. Vincent Ziccardi, San Antonio, TX

    Tancredo is a lonely voice of common sense in a storm of other-worldly nonsense! His critics would have called the planned atomic bombing of Japan "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy" if Truman had discussed it before sending the bombers and then, after causing enough public outcry to stop the bombing, would have blamed Truman for causing the loss of 3 million more lives (American and Japanese)through a land invasion of Japan. America the compasionate! Grow up people, you don't win wars or defeat an enemy using rocks when he uses bombs.

    August 4, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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