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. Ryan, NYC, NY

    On second thought, why not just nuke the whole Middle East, execute every Muslim in the US first, then the spread the death squads to the rest of the world and we'll be clear of the problem of Islamo-fascism? What a brilliant idea. It could be like the Holocaust of the 21st century. Hitler had a whole slew of things that he blamed the Jews for, now we can do the same with the Muslims.

    I realize that these people aren't the majority, but seriously, how is anyone with the logical capacity of a 3rd grader able to come up with such idiotic ideas, let alone be elected to an office where you have the opportunity to spread them?

    August 3, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. "D" Tampa, FL

    Um....not taking into account the political, moral or social ramifications of his idea, how about the fact that he would be destroying sites of unmeasurable historical value? Places, for example, like the Sistine Chapel represent religious centers but also represent artistic and social climates at the time of it’s creation.

    Actually, this is such an absurd idea I don’t even know why I’m posting a comment. It doesn’t really even warrant a response. I think I’m posting it because I’m so shocked that someone in an elected office can be so embarrassingly stupid.

    August 3, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Nikki - Robins AFB, GA

    I'm going back and forth with this. He's either got his head up his – well, you know – or he's a bonafide attention whore. I'm leaning more toward the latter, but am inclined to believe it's a great deal of both.

    August 3, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Christiaan, Blackwell, OK

    So, let me get this straight, we're going to deter people who have already decided that their cause is worth dying for and that they're willing to die for it by threatening to ramp-up the violence level to a point they can't handle? Isn't that sort of like trying to deter Mike Tyson from doing something by threatening to punch him in the face? Really, he's used to it.

    Moreover, the idea that if we confirm their suspicions and fears about Western intervention they're going to simply say "ok, well we give up, you were right" is absolutely absurd. Did our capitalist economy collapse, tuck-tail and run when they bombed the WTC? By destroying their holiest of sites we will only convince the entire Muslim community that the time has come for the most desperate measures and we will see the beginning of a world-wide religious war. "A man with even the humblest of means will cling to life like a leech on a pig's ass, but a man who has nothing can know no fear of death."

    August 3, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Roger, Phila, PA

    This guy doesn't understand Al Queada's goal, which is a war between Islam and "the infedels". That response would only help them achieve such a goal.

    August 3, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Bangkok Thailand

    Here is one Hell of a Straight Shooter
    Who doesn't Mince Words .Yeah Tom Nuke Them for christ sake . They would If You don't . It is Either Us or them and they are breeding fast . Next twenty Tears there'll be No Democracy . But the Mandate will be Islamcrazy . Thank You Tom , Having a bold Idea and the Heart muscle You have, Makes Boosh look like a silly Puppy to the Saudis .There is No Moral High Ground Higher than Shoot First Before being Shot At .

    August 3, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is the most "out of control" statement I've ever heard. His statement deserves an apology as the Pope had to make an apology.

    August 3, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Chuck, Detroit MI

    That sounds like a good idea to create more terrorists and people who hate us. Is that what we want? What an idiot! Colorado and the Republicans should be embarrassed for electing someone of his stupidity!

    August 3, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Steve, Monterey, CA

    Those of you who think Saudi Arabia is our legitimate ally are naive at best.

    August 3, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Brian Jones, Las Cruces,NM

    Way to go Tancredo! Bomb the "heck" out of those "holey" sites. Tom, you say it like it is, unlike our other spineless politicians caught up in this politically correct quagmire. Afraid to say what everyone knows to be true. If it was up to me I would nuke the entire middle east (sans Israel) and incinerate every current and future terrorist. Tom, you are a testamnet to everything that is right about America.

    August 3, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Jeff, san Diego Ca

    YES!!!!Thank God for Tom Tancredo. Bombs Away! This is a Christian-Muslim conflict, whether you like it or not, andamerica is a Christian country, whether you like it or not

    August 3, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Robin Bernhard, Gardnerville, Nevada

    I'm an extemeist against extremism...let's bomb his house with an arsenal of total silence. Don't show up to see him, don't interview him, walk away if he walks up and asks you for directions. We only feed him by even printing this non sense.

    August 3, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. athar, washington dc

    This guy needs to be drug tested. Somehow, destroying the two most important cities to Muslims in the world will lead to peace? God bless the nutiness of the GOP!

    August 3, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. rick, LA, CA

    Threats preceded by an "if", are completely fair. What could be more fair than giving someone advanced warning that their actions will lead to an unsatisfactory outcome for everyone, not just us. Great idea.

    August 3, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. David, Gilbert Arizona

    So, if some home grown wack job like Timothy McVeigh were to blow up a train in Pakistan then it would be okay for Pakistan to bomb churches in the United States?

    Islamic fascists do not represent the entire muslim population. I have muslim friends in Pakistan and in the United States who do not condone the acts of fanatics. Attacking the muslim holy sites will not keep the children of the United States safe. It will do the exact opposite. Those muslims who were not fascists before would immediately become them if they are provoked, which is exactly what the existing fascists want.

    Making threats that we would blow up cities if we are attacked by terrorists won't keep our children safe either. This is exactly what fascists want to hear. What better way to mobilize mass groups of people to join the side of the fascists than to get the United States to bomb holy site?

    Mecca and Medina are in Saudia Arabia, which is our ally. Making statements that the United States would destroy cities inside an allied country if fascists attack us only goads the terrorists on. Terrorists do not represent a nation. They represent an organization.

    I don't know who to feel more sorry for, the good folks of Colorado who elected a wack job to represent them or the wack job himself.

    August 3, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. dennis

    what is with the wussification of america? seriously-to many time outs and not enough spankings? thats what happens when you take dodgeball and compietive sports out of school. it seems like our country turned into a bunch of sissy pansy crybabies. real simple-if you attack america in the name of your religion, we will blow up your holy sites. lets see–the japs were more crazy in ww2 then the muslims of today, and 2 big bombs changed their attitude. maybe most of you doves that do not care about another attack shoulod move to canada-please do us that favor.

    August 3, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Gerry, Tampa, Florida

    Mr. Tancredo shows a complete lack of understanding of the terrorist threat. The terrorists have hijacked a religion, Islam, and twisted it as a way to justify and perpetuate their barbaric and violent agenda. The terrorist masterminds could care less about Islam. To them it is a means to an end. Terrorism is a plague much the same as Nazism was in the last century. All people in the civilized world must act to rid the world of this plague.
    Mr. Tancredo suggestion that we kill part of Islam, one of the terrorists innocent victims is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have heard from any politician.

    August 3, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Dave, Phoenix, AZ

    Based on this logic, the British government should threaten to blow up the Vatican if the IRA ever plants a bomb in London again. That would teach all of the Catholics in the world a lesson. Brilliant, Tom.

    August 3, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. New Orleans Luisiana

    Sounds good to me. The muslims themselves
    have shown that they don't honor their own holy sites.

    August 3, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Saudi Arabia appears as an ally but they are also the Home of the worldwide Jihad Islamic movement. They sponsor and promote Jihad all around the world. Saudi Arabia is the home of all but one 9-11 attacker and their mastermind Osama. Saudi Arabia is the only country that has any benefit from the Iraq War—we go rid of Saddam who they hated and for every dollar we spent on the Iraq War was a dollar or more of profit for Saudi Arabia in oil sales and profits. What a great partner, they spread Jihad and grow rich off of Jihad, what do we get other than an oil to burn? Bush is looking more and more like NERO except instead of fiddling while Rome burns; he fiddles while we burn out on oil.

    We shouldn’t indiscriminately attack holy places but mosques that harbor terrorists and promote Jihad, are they holy places or places of war crimes directed against civilian targets? Islamic terrorists commonly both attack mosques and religious ceremonies as a primary target and plan and promote terror attacks from mosques. The only thing holy about the red mosque in Pak are the bullet and bomb holes not the “A” holes that learn terrorism and war crimes!

    August 3, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Jock Mackay, Atlanta, GA

    Are you kidding me?
    Clearly he wont get elected as the President of the US but what shocks me the most is how did he come this far with such extremists views?
    And since when did "an eye for an eye" become solution to terrorism?
    And did he imply terrorism has a religion?
    I truly punch him if I ever see him.

    August 3, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Christopher, Los Angeles CA

    Don't worry, Jack Bauer will stop the bombs before they reach the holy sites.

    August 3, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. James Parkhurst

    Read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam" by Yahiya Emerick and you'll agree with Tancredo. Islam calls its followers to "fight the unbeliever wherever they are." And I'm a peace-loving Democrat. The USA needs to treat terrorists the same way that Isreal does. Level them within 24 hours.

    August 3, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Jonathan, Dallas Texas

    Finally someone has some sense! We have to face the fact that we are stuck in a religious war that we didn't choose. This is the only thing these terrorists understand. They even blow up eachothers "holy sites" when it suites their need just look at Iraq.

    August 3, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    On 9/12/2001, I thought we should nuke the capitals of all Islamic countries and also the holy sites in Saudi.

    By 9/13/2001, I was over it.

    But, if they reenact 9/11 or do a 9/11 times 10,000, wipe the "religion of peace" off the map.

    August 3, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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