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. Craig, Swift Current, Saskatchewan

    Wow, even Bush isn't that stupid.

    August 4, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. KT, SF, CA

    It's interesting that we are appalled when we see propaganda pieces (such as this one) from Islamic terrorist organizations. However, when it's a US Representative, we're not so quick to call for the man's head.

    When does this all end? They hit us on 9/11, we go after Afganistan and Iraq. They hit us again, we go after Holy Sites?

    Destroying Mecca and Medina will achieve nothing. Terrorists follow an ideal, not a man or object or place. This act will only embolden them to do something more unspeakable.

    August 4, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    The most irresponsible and arrogant statement I have heard. For people who think this is a great idea, I would like to ask how is this moron's statement is any different than for example Iran saying it will bomb and destroy The Vatican City if attacked by The United States?
    What Terrorist Tencredo is saying is exactly the same thing. Think about it.

    August 4, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. JSJ, San Jose, CA

    this guy is a lunatic

    August 4, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. James A. Wortham, Fort Worth, Texas

    Im a democrat, Im a black man, I believe in the right to bear arms,Im a christian and I agree with him a 100%!

    August 4, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Anna, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. Can we bomb them too?

    August 4, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Mike, Albany NY

    This guy certainly needs to learn a little about foreign policy. Why in God's name would you tip your hand as to what you would do in a hypothetical situation like that and encourage someone who has an axe to gring with the muslims to attack us in the hopes that we retaliate against Mecca? Meanwhile our country will suffer from even more big government Republicans and personal freedoms usurped in the name of security.

    August 4, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Stan

    *******WAR IS NOT A SOLUTION******* Let's pray for a peaceful world

    August 4, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Rishi, San Diego, California

    That would single handedly incite World War III–not only would every country in support of the United States be at war with every islamic theocracy, but there would an implosion of violence within any country where muslims are citizens.

    August 4, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Chris, NY,NY

    This is not a good idea and Tancredo shouldn't have said it. I don't believe that the terrorists would care one way or another if Mecca was bombed, they aren't true Muslims anyways.

    That said, I have one interesting thing of note: Notice how many Western and American people are outspoken about Tancredo in this blog? Why don't we see the same backlash by Muslims when their fundamentalist leaders advocate nuking the west and suicide bombings? Food for thought...

    August 4, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Gondola, Gangees India

    Too bad 2 Billion Muslims are on the wrong side of our secular state. I would not hesitate to bomb their holy sites if we are provoked again.

    We have respected this religious gibberish entirely too much. We have paid for the most powerful military the world has ever seen, so they had better "prey" that we don't use it. Religious fascism/terrorism must end!

    August 4, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Emeka Chukwu, Aba, Abia, Nigeria. 234-804190419

    It is a shame that the Muslims have "cornered" people into thinking more of what not to do to Muslims.

    They have stealthly planted fear in the minds of "Libral thinkers" of this world.

    Accept it or not, If Muslim "Holy Sites" are attacked they will not be able to sustain a worldwide warfare.

    Muslims make you fear what they dread, Besides chicken hearted people die many times before their death.

    The earlier we stop "pleasing" muslims for fear of what we think they can do, the earlier we break free from their shadows of fear.

    It is time to wake up.

    Bombing Mecca with nukes during the hajj, will humble the fools that think that they are invincible.Besides force is the only thing Muslims understand.

    August 4, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Phoenix,AZ

    Tancredo is exactly the kind of neonazi we dont need in our country. Its people like him who harbour terrorism. Can someone tell me why killing millions of innocent people, by bombing two holy cities, who have no ties to Al Qaeda is not an act of terrorism. This guy is not only a moron but a second comming of Hitler and probably a buddy of Osama Bin Laden, since they preach the same messege of hate and biggotry.

    August 4, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Sam Dsouza Washington DC

    What Mr.Tancredo has said is 100% right. If these islamic jihadists are all up for killing us anytime anywhere, then we should not spare them at all.

    August 4, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Alex Calderon, Miami, Florida, (USA)

    I live in Tancredo's version of a Third World Country, Miami,Florida. Maybe he would like to bomb Miami right along with Mecca and Medina. This guy is an INSANE IDIOT.

    August 4, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. joe, new york city

    aboslute moron...just like bush and all republicans who are destroying this country

    August 4, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Randy, Pittsburgh PA

    Funny things is i don't see a problem with that. they plays by a different set of rules. We need to level the playing field. If they attack my family, I say attack theirs. If they attack my friends, I say attack theirs. Then we would see how quick this stiops. Ever heard, fight fire with fire, an eye for an eye? Let the liberals defend their families with hugs and kisses.

    August 4, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Tanweer ,Alberta ,Canada

    It is easier to sit in a secure place and threaten the world ,i think it will not be easy to attack Mecca and i don't really think that senator has the balls to do that ,They went to spread democracy in Iraq and now after so long there emotions have cooled down,the only man who is still excited about it is Bush or his General who is paid to support the president ,I think before attacking Meccca americans should go in Iran cool the anger of iranians with their blood and weapons ,then attack on Syria and feel good about it ,then comes Pakistan ,after that if they have any more energy left to threaten they should threaten India and China for taking their jobs ,but i think by that time greedy ,ignorant and racist Americans will have a miilion U.S dollar to a euro and they would start killing their neigbours for cash and will not have the energy to threaten any one else , Probably a super power china will provide a better leadership to the world than mean and greedy Americans.

    August 4, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Abu Dawoud al Amriki

    Fisrt of all, as a Muslim, let's just say Mecca and Medina can be rebuilt. This will be the duty of everyone who worships the One and Only God. Thus in the end, Mr. Tancredo, you've accomplished nothing. Second, rather than deter any furture attacks, you've only increased them. This stupid idea of yours is really, in the end, a failure. Think you options through.

    August 4, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. AG, Baton Rouge LA

    Sounds good but I'm not sure it would be very effective.
    When dealing with someone who wants to blow themselves up It will likely be pretty hard to find something they care about.
    Threatening to kick over it's water bowl won't deter a mad dog from attacking...

    August 4, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. David, California

    Fear in America has lead to such stupid statements! Call him what he is A Christian Terrorist!
    How would destroying another religions holy sites stop terrorism? The majority of the people in Islam are NOT terrorist dispite what is seen on OUR media!
    Americans need to wake up and educate themselves on other religions and cultures. Remember, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and the US bombed the hell out of that country. What good did that do?
    This Terrorist should be removed from politics!
    By the way, where is Osama and his people...those are the ones we should really bomb!

    August 4, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Benjamin Bloomington, IN

    Is he insane? That would be like putting up an "open season" sign on schools, churches, and everyplace else that people gather. This would cause mass rioting across the globe.

    Someone has to remain on the moral high ground...

    He should stop reading out of the "Bush playbook" and start thinking with his head.

    August 4, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. John Toronto, Canada

    Horrible idea. If we resort to bombing their holy sites, we have sunk to the level of the Muslims.

    August 4, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. AJ Strickland II Lincoln,Al.

    I think most people miss the point here. Isn't the guy just saying no matter where you hide we will attack you. Who cares what or where the structure is. If a country wants to hide these cowards then certainly they are no ally to us.

    August 4, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Wow, Saint Louis, MO

    We already know this guy is insane from the debates he has been in. What is more scary is reading the comments on this blog that agree with him. If you want to seal the downfall of the United Sates and its western alllies then go ahead and bomb Mecca. Let's see what happens.

    August 4, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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