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. Kas, London, England

    I don't know a great deal about Mr Tancredo but bombing a holy site no matter what religion doesn't punish Islamist terrorists, infact it gives them the ammunition to state that the west does indeed have double standards and is anti-islam. It is a sad state of affairs when the politics in America distill down to who is the toughest, strongest, gutsiest against the Islamists. Mr Tancredo would surely be better served spouting out some serious policies, but I guess that is the real issue

    August 4, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I do think,if there would be an atack on the US,the plan of "Tankredo" would be the best counteratack,and this,the Extremist, would fear.

    August 4, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. anon, anon

    Tom, Tom, Tom, why didn't you just stay on message with your one good stance.
    Why help them create martyrs?

    August 4, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. cameron layer, haiku, hawaii

    this called true deterence. yes, it is could be viewed as outrageous and provacative, but the rest of the muslim world might turn against their brethern if there is the threat of their holiest sites being harmed. an attack probably will not create an ecomnoic collaspe, but it will certainly make me want to hurt their psyche as much as possible, consequnces be damned

    August 4, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Pabella, Manila

    About time a politician made sense. Fight terror with terror.

    August 4, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Mombo-Moe, Clarkston, GA

    Who is this "nucklehead"! From his comments/suggestions it seems to me that this Senator has become a terrorist. "Loose Lips Sink Ships"

    August 4, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Leslie Palmer, Nashua, NH

    It is so very horrific that this suggestion sounds fair to me. What a world we have created here. This may be too far from the realm but the phrase "fight fire with fire" does have a real appeal.

    August 4, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. james benson Reno nevada

    He is 100% right! Good for him to tell the truth

    August 4, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Rodney, NY NY

    Without a doubt hes right. It may be wrong, but hes right. Anyone saying hes not right is just a liar.

    August 4, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Sean, New Jersey

    So Mr. Tancredo would kill completely innocent, uninvolved people and enrage religious and scholarly people all over the world (not just Muslims) all for what? To "punish" some extremists?

    Something smells like terrorism.

    August 4, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. nEo, North Plainfield

    These are the words of the Representative from Colorado? Well the only lesson here is, watch out for Coloradans.

    August 4, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Hong Kong

    Sorry...but I'll have to edit my own comments...This a PRIME example why America is...hmmm crumbling...and that is not the word I want to use. Does this man even know that the true war is not the "west" against "muslims" ...but truly..muslim against muslim. There is a silent majority that is sitting back..and letting the raticals run the show...they don't approve of what these terrorists are doing in the name of "Islam" . So..just imagine for a minute if this guy things are bad now...when it's just a minority that is putting fear in the world..what would happen if that kind of act would turn the whole muslim world against the rest of the world.
    I suggest people who are in power make educated comments..instead of ones that will insight anger and fear..and god knows what else. ( yes pun intended)

    Michael Metelnick an Informed Canadian Living/working in Hong Kong

    August 4, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Don, Hong Kong

    Right on Tom!

    August 4, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Cordell Corder

    Good for Tom Tanreco! He's got my vote.

    August 4, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Ari Weled, West Fargo, ND

    He is absolutely right, that is there language and its the only thing they will ever understand.

    August 4, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Joe , new york ,ny

    Mr Tancredo
    what about jerusalem ? it's holly to the muslims as well ! or are you scared that israel will kick your butt?

    August 4, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. T. Jefferson

    If muslim extremeists attack the United States it will be because the muslim world failed to find and prevent the act. I do not see any of the muslim conservatives, if there are any, speaking out or actively trying to re-educate the terrorists. We have to motivate them to do so. One way to do that is to adopt a policy that will hit them where it hurts if they hit us first. I think Mecca is an excellent choice. They have nothing to loose unless we make it so. Perhaps the Muslim world needs to stop teaching their children that non-muslims deserve to die simply because they are infidels to them. Perhaps they should stop secretly funding the terrorists. Perhaps the muslim "culture" needs to actively create an environment of religious tolerance toward their fellow man, and leave the twelfth century behind.

    August 4, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. iih, Boston, MA

    Doesn't he realize that saying something like this would offend millions of Muslims in this country and elsewhere who are really not the enemy? This is absolutely ridiculous!

    As a Muslim who lives and works in the US, and who fruitfully contributes to society and the scientific advancement of this country, to Tancredo I say: "So what next, should we start labeling American Muslims with arm bands so that the rest of us identify them?"

    Are your ideas so weak that you can not defend them except with bombs? You are pathetic.

    August 4, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST - Sonia Ramagem - Gaithersburg, MD

    Why should we be the only ones living in fear? The threat to bomb their holy sites IF they attack us is a marvellous deterrent! No matter they are in Saudi Arabia, an "ally" Wahabi country that funds most of the Muslim terrorists against us. With the threat, even moderate Muslims may wake up and do something to stop their brethen frome extremist actions. Ah, and don't forget to destroy Iran's nuclear program fast, lest they become
    "outraged" on the attack against
    "their" culture....

    August 4, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Adam, Madison, Wi

    This is insane. Could we play any more into the hands of the muslim extremists. This type of over-reaction is exactly what Bin Laden wanted and got (Iraq war) with 9/11. What could be a better recruiting tool for Al Qaeda to get the 99% of non-extremist muslims into wanting to attack us also. This type of Toby Keith "Boot in the Ass" bomb them all because they are all the same rhetoric is truely a short-cut to thinking.

    August 4, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Jay, Angola, Indiana

    Hello. Mr. Tancredo,
    Your statement is very dangerous and thought provoking.
    1. First of all have you travelled outside the United States. There is a growing sentiments against Americans all over the world. Because of our current administration's foreign policy, war in Iraq and Afganistan.

    2. The war in IRAQ is unwanted. Bush-Cheney adminstration manipulated the pre-war intelligence to go to war in IRAQ. What is happening is there now is innocent people are caught in the middle of sectarian violence.

    3. We need to get out of IRAQ and the middle-east. The longer we are there – more hatred towards Americans.

    4. We need friends than enemies. By bombing Mecca would not acheive anything. Rather it would inflame more hatred towards Americans. We will be more vulnerable. American companies will lose billions of dollars in businesses as those countries will switch to other nations companies.

    5. We will be the losers. Therefore the best option is watch your mouth think twice before speak.

    6. What we need to do is continiue to work with allies such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and Pakistan as to eradicate the radical Islamists and hunt down the Bin-laden and his deputies. If you bomb Mecca – all these allies will not work United States.

    7. So before you speak – think twice.

    -Independent Voter-

    August 4, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Paul. Chicago ILL.

    If Islamic fundamentalists had the means to nuke America, and for that matter the Vatican, they would. And without hesitation. Tancredo is 'thinking' like the enemy and that may be the a possible alternative to our current means of addressing Islamic fundamentalists. In other words, let Muslims control these fanantical goups. If all Muslims understand what is at stake, and what they could lose, maybe they will rise up and be a part of the 21st century. To date: Why have Muslims as a group took a stand against Islamic fundamentalists? Because every dead non-Muslim is a victory. And no, I am not a Bush supporter and I am not alligned with any political party. Lastly, I believe that invading Iraq was a total mistake.

    August 4, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. S.Ahmed . Cairo - Egypt

    He is either a stupid moron or a prejudist fanatic, or perhaps both.
    It will not be a deterrent but an incentive for the terrorists like Bin Ladin, he will suddenly recruit millions, thanks to this sort of inconceivable idiocy, & he wants to run for president???

    August 4, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. brian, Charlotte,nc

    calm down people! like exxon would ever let this happen...

    August 4, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Oh really? bomb the muslim holy city? and what would that accomplish except kill millions of innocent people and bring us to WW3. The one thing commom with terrorist and republican Tancredo is that they both have radical ideas and think that they can and should kill anyone and everyone standing in their way of achieving power, with utter disregard for any innocent people. TANCREDO AND PEOPLE LIKE HIM ARE OUR OWN HOME GROW TERRORISTS.

    August 4, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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