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. Anonymous

    Saudi Arabia isn't much of an ally. If all the truth came out, they would be seen for the hypocrites they really are. Tancredo is right on, and he has the right ideas on illegal immigration also. Too bad he does not have much chance at the nomination. This country needs more like him.

    August 4, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Jamie B., St. Paul

    It's been widely rumored for years that Bush has made this threat explicitly. Similar threats were made against Pakistan in order to secure cooperation in the Afghan War. And frankly, even if he hadn't made the threat explicit, I am quite certain that another major terror attack on US soil would bring our nuclear deterrent into play–what on earth could such forces be meant to deter if not a large-scale savage attack on our country. I for one have wondered ever since we took over Pakistani airbases to attack Afghanistan how long it would be before we used Afghan airbases to attack Pakistan.

    August 4, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Alexander, Upper Marlboro, MD

    The Quran is filled with passages that talk about waging war against non-muslims. The most famous is 9.29:

    "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (YUSUF ALI Translation)

    The other translations are the same. Some will say I am just cherry picking but not one of the major muslim groups on this planet disagrees what this means. It is the duty of all pious muslims to wage war (Jihad) against non-muslims until the submit and pay the jizya (if they are Jews and Christians). If they are not Jews and Christians kill them. Now not every muslim understands this phrase nor is every muslim really pious. The fact is the less pious a muslim is the less dangerous he is. The more pious the more dangerous he is to non-muslims.

    August 4, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Robert Jenkins San Diego,CA

    The only place Tancredo gets it wrong is that he would wait for an attack on the USA before he’d attack Mecca. Uh, why wait??? I’m all for a PREEMPTIVE obliteration of Mecca. Just do it. Now. Seriously, nothing would put a bigger grin on my terrorist-despising face than to wake up one random day, turn on CNN, and see TOP STORY: MECCA FLATTENED. Just imagine the joy of seeing a giant black pane of sandy glass, stretching for miles, lying where Mecca used to be. I never liked the look that hideous giant black cube anyway, that pile of garbage that these insane radicals walk around in circles, for hours at a time, like zombies from Night of the Living Dead. Ahhh, I realize this is only a dream for now. But you just wait. Have 1 or 2 more WTC-type attacks in the country, and what you may think is a dream now will indeed make sense to all of us, including our President, regardless of political party. Just you wait.

    August 4, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Rob, Denver CO

    As another ashamed Coloradan, and to answer the question of why this guy represents this state, I can only offer the explanation that Tancredo hails from the 6th District, which is a largely-rural-though-partially-suburban and very conservative area. In Colorado, most of the more educated population resides in Denver/Boulder, with the exception of some of the mountain resort areas. Note the correlation between the posts here that agree with Tancredo and numerous misspellings, grammatical errors, and generally adolescent reasoning.

    August 4, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. tina

    Tancredo is right! these muslim radicals will not rest until they realize that their precious holy sites are in danger. The U.S. is our holy site and we cannot keep living in fear of being attacked. That is crazy! 1.2 Billion muslims should realize that they have to make those violent ones realize that the west is capable of doing such things and that the moderate muslims are also tired of them. This will not create a worldwide holy war because the west is capable and the fundamentalists are a minority whose powers does not match to Western powers.

    August 4, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. JG, Seattle WA

    I love Tancredo's comments. It's about time we stop worrying about being politically correct and kow-towing to Muslim sensitivities, or any other sensitivities.

    Yes, we need to be compassionate, but we can't be weak.

    If they want to continue to engage in attacks aimed at civilians in any country, then I have no problem with taking whatever measures are necessary to deter that action.

    August 4, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Brett Lambert, Baltimore, MD

    What kind of ridiculous crap is this? Islamic fundamentalists hate America because we support Israel. Bombing Mecca is not only completely un-American, it is the one thing that will completely solidify the resolve of those fundamentalists to cause America harm. Tancredo is free to have whatever opinion he wants and to share it, but I sincerely hope the voting public in his district banish him from public office.

    August 4, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Kevin, Los Angeles, CA

    This is the most closed-minded and stupid option ever suggested. Or should I say re-suggested. How does this idiot continue to get public attention and support? How can he possibly get elected, even to the House? He's obviously trying to incite a World War.

    August 4, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Outraged in Austin, TX


    We have finally found someone who would be a worse President than Bush."

    Hear hear! Tom Tancredo is a crazy person and it's about time other people are recognizing it. Of course he has no chance of winning the presidency, but he shouldn't be in Congress either!

    August 4, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. dan boulder colorado

    not all Muslims are terrorists thus they should not have to suffer the destruction of their national shrines for the deeds of a few

    How would Mr. Tancredo handle the situation if he knew the terrorists intended to instigate a US attack on Mecca?

    August 4, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. alexander, Upper Marlboro, MD

    Also there is a reason why people are worried about an Islamic nuclear weapon. If you are a true follower of Islam then when read a phrase like Quran 9.38.

    "O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter." (Yusuf Ali)

    What do you think it means to you? Remember these folks think this is the word and LAW of god!

    August 4, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Michael from Nashville, TN

    Tom Tancredo's idea of bombing Mecca is the most insane idea I have ever heard. I used to respect Tancredo for some of his conservative views, but this is just madness. I will do everything in my power to make sure he is never elected.

    Destroying Mecca will create a global jihad on a scale that would simply be unimaginable. Imagine our current problems multiplied exponentially. It could possibly mean the end of the United States.

    Don't give terrorist actions legitimacy!

    I support Ron Paul.

    August 4, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Ali Raleigh NC

    This "person" makes me sick!!! He is worse than the terrorists.

    August 4, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Sabrina, Morristown, TN

    It won't work. The terrorists aren't really "religious." They just use Allah and religion to suck other people into their cause.

    August 4, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Jamal, Texarkana, TX.

    No wonder ‘War on terror’ is increasingly viewed as ‘War against Islam’.

    August 4, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Yes we should bomb mecca , every chance we get that where all evil started anyway

    August 4, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Zuleyha, Old Westbury, NY

    I couldn't help but laugh! To think how excited he must of been, assuming he found the perfect solution. WHAT AN IDIOT! Besdies laughing, these comments and ideas put worry in my heart. We Americans are the most hated people around the world. I would always say, "we're misunderstood." But, now I see what evil exists within our own beautiful country.

    August 4, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. arab ,,,in ny

    bomb em all let god sort it out nuke em obama

    August 4, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Moez Abdel-Gawad, Houston TX

    I firmly believe this is not a deterrent. Muslims do not worship cities, be it Mecca or Madinah. We worship (hold as holy) Allah alone, and Allah is indestructible.

    The suggestion is thus nothing but a clear expression of hatred (and ignorance, of the fact above). Someone (Tancredo) was sincere and honest enough, and had the guts, to express what he thinks and how he exactly feels towards Islam and Muslims.

    Clarity of intentions, and clarity in expressing them, is nice and good.

    August 4, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Antonio, New York City

    What an idiot. Just by saying such a rediculous statement he is going to stir up anti-American fervor in Muslim communities around the world. This is why we need to revamp our sorry education system – so fools like this don't ever rise to positions of power.

    August 4, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. alexander, Upper Marlboro, MD

    Brett Lambert of Baltimore

    They hate you because you are a non-muslim. The same reason why they hate Hinuds, Buddhist, Atheist, and amyone who does not follow the one true path.

    "Alif Laam Raa. A book which we have revealed to you (Muhammad) so that you may lead the people from out of the darknesses into the light by their Lord's leave to the path of the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy." [Qur'an 14:1]

    Unless your are muslims your are an inferior human and must submit to the will of Allah. That is why they fight us, India, Thailand, Sudanese Africans and yes Jews in Israel.

    Don't you guys get it...Its a religious war. It has always been a religious war. Like it or not.

    August 4, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. David, Bowling Green, OH

    This is the most irresponsible statement any American politician has issued for many years, many decades. I'm afraid some damage – just his saying these things – has already been done. This will confirm in the minds of those predisposed to believe that the US is anti-Muslim.

    I'm also astounded at the ignorance of some of people here commenting. No Muslim would be deterred by destroying Mecca or Medina; on the other hand, violence would rise to a level not seen since WWII, and it would all be directed at us. What then: more nukes? Such idiocy.

    August 4, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Sean, Olongapo City, Philippines

    Really now....Does anyone really think there is such thing as a 'moderate' muslim. Read the Koran word for word. Then, and only then, will you understand their intolerance for others (especially jews!). And yes, this guy is nuts....but just fed up with bending over backwards for a religion that is wholly intolerant of others. The topper is when muslims seek the protections of civilized western societies from their own backwards countries- then preach for the downfall of the west in their newly adopted countries! These guys are equally nuts!

    August 4, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Rob, Aspen, CO

    I have been saying this for a while, actually, and I believe there is a lot of simplistic misinterpretation. We avoided nuclear catastrophe in the cold war largely through the reality of mutually assured destruction. We are now faced with an enemy that is stateless, fanatical, and could possibly attain nuclear capability. A new doctrine of mutually assured destruction must be erected, and Islam is the one unifying element of the enemy we currently face.

    August 4, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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