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. Jesse, Jacksonville , Florida

    This guy is insane....

    August 4, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Lorene, Thornton CO

    To even think of bombing these two sites is like revisting the Crusades, you cannot punish a whole religous group of people for just a few people causing problems. Not to mention the historical importance of these sites is critical. Whats the next step, Dome on the Rock. This man is just not playing with a full deck and needs to be sat at the right side of Jerry Falwell at the idiots table.

    August 4, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. CTurner, Durham, NC

    Tancredo's only role in the 2008 election is to make the other Republicans look relatively sane by comparison. He's taken over the role from John McCain, who is now so broke and politically ruined that no one pays attention to his rants anymore. Tom, thanks for taking one for the team.

    August 4, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Bud Dailey,Shelton ,WA.

    Tancredo makes sense. After all it is Saudi Arabia that has promoted and financed radical Islamic terrorism for the last fifty years. Wahhabism is dedicated to the eradication of all non-Islamic believers that wont convert to their form of insanity and that radical religious belief is endemic in the Saudi ruling elite.
    A few cruise missles aimed at their proud new skyscrapers,and mecca would certainly temper their haterd for the rest of mankind and possibly force them to moderate their hateful religion,and join the 21st century.

    August 4, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Dan in Phoenix AZ

    This is such an insane comment to make.
    This is totally a cowards point of view and so stupid. Don't you think if the US were to take this kind of a stance in dealing with such things that there would be retaliatory actions like bombings of holy sites throughout the middle east, not to mention the Vatican and various church bombings in the USA? What an idiotic thing to say. Where do we find these politicians? Literally scraping the bottom of the barrel. We're Americans for goodness sakes can't we come up with more responsible and respectable solutions? Not very diplomatic to say the least. I didn't think that the republican party had anything worse to offer than what he have now. Apparently that's not the case.

    August 4, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. noble,karachi,pakistan

    great idea tom......... if you do that more than 5000+ nuclear icbms coming at you from Pakistan..........

    August 4, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Alexander Smith, Asheville, NC

    Without a doubt, Mr. Tancredo's comment is the epitomy of "the ugly American." To think that the government would even consider bombing a holy site, without respect to religion, is unthinkable. I have always believed that America is THE standard of decency, morality, freedom, and most of all – justice. To denegrate American ideology with ignorance will continue to erode the foundation this country has stood upon. We are better than this.

    August 4, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. scott

    Wow... he obviously thought this one through because we all know the fundamental Islamists are going to stop their terrorist attacks immediately after a threat like this... "Gee, they really mean business, let's stop the bombings and look for peaceful alternative solutions..." ... the only morons who think like this and support this position are not really different from the terrorists themselves - they may not have started bombing yet (oops except for abortion clinics) but given the time and chance they would really really love to do so.

    August 4, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. M.T., Pensacola FL

    Wow this guy wants to target the whole Muslim religion because of what a small group of extremist have done. If this is not discriminating at its finest then I don’t know what is. I can’t believe he actually thinks this will stop all the problems going on in today’s world. Presidential hopefully? I don’t think so; I think would rather vote Paris Hilton as President then this guy. Muslims believe in peace and have respect for others. The religion tells Muslims to respect everybody, which includes Muslims and Non-Muslims. Attacking innocent people is against the Muslim religion and no where in the Koran is attacking of innocent people justified. It is considered a sin in the Koran to attack anybody just because you don’t like there religion. People cannot discriminate against the whole group for what a small group of idiots have done. If this guy wants to attack a place where a lot of innocent people worship there religion; then what makes him better then any of those crazy radicals?

    August 4, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Michael from Nashville, TN

    There are many different ideas and philosophies within Islam as to when jihad is or isn't called for. However, there there is no disagreement on one thing: jihad is always called for when attacked!

    Attack Mecca or Medina and watch all the currently peaceful Muslims in the world turn militant. Literally, EVERY MUSLIM ON EARTH WILL TURN ON US. Attack Mecca or Medina and watch ALL of our allies turn their backs on us. We will be alone, with a billion Muslims ready to kill us.

    Hundreds of millions of Americans, including myself, will protest this and refuse to fight to defend this government if it follows this path.

    I honestly believe it will destroy America.

    August 4, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Alex, Amsterdam

    This article gave me a totally different view about Americans untill... I read the comments. Greets from the Netherlands.

    August 4, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. bai everett Wa

    Republicans always accuse democrats of aiding terrorist because of the comments they make, but infact people like Ann coulter, Rush, Sean hannity, bill orielly, michael savage and this idiot are the ones who are really aiding the terrorist for making such folish cmoments.

    August 4, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. charles v gunawan

    A classic case of a tadpole in a well.Is he for real?.

    August 4, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Mike from Nashville, TN

    I honestly believe that the behind the scenes plans in Washington are far more evil than anything the terrorists could even imagine.

    August 4, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Brandon, Orlando, FL

    They don't hate us because we're free; They hate us because we've been in the Middle East for the last fifty or so years meddling in their business, all to protect our oil interests. It doesn't take a genius to understand that our horrible– And most of the time non-existent– Foreign policy is at the root cause of this mess. If we weren't constantly inciting coups and bombing those we deem a threat to our oil interests, then we'd have very few of the problems we have today.

    Anyway, I'm nothing but shocked and appalled that there are actually people who agree with this guy. Right now we're at 'war' (And I use that term loosely) with Islamic fundamentalists. Attack Mecca and/or Medina– Even as a retaliatory measure– And suddenly you'll find yourself at war with all of Islam.

    The thing about Islamic fundamentalists is that they don't care who they hurt in their quest to kill the 'non-believers'. Any kind of attack aimed at Muslims as a whole would play right into the hands of the extremists. They'd never have to recruit again. Ever.

    Thank you, Mr. Tancredo, for being played like a fiddle.

    August 4, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Jeremy

    Anyone in support of this idiot is an ignoramus hellbent on wanton warmongering recklessness! Real political "nuts" indeed. IGNORANT!

    August 4, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Steve, CT

    Yes. Let's fight torture with torture. Terror with terror. Then call ourslves different. If you really believe in the American way of life, as I do, you have to stand by it even in the tough times.

    August 4, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. paul, phx az

    at the very very least it is militarily out of proportion. medina and mecca would be closely followed by the vatican and all of israel.
    this guy is clueless, lets hope we dont see him golfing with bush next week.

    August 4, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Richard, Las Vegas, NV

    About time someone spoke up for America. This is a war of ideologies that will destroy our country and our way of life if left unchecked. I fully support the concept of leverage and deterence.

    August 4, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Dean Marsdale

    Civilized countries shouldn't destroy non-military targets in a "tit-for-tat" strategy. Our war strategy centers around the idea that extremism indescrimately destroys people and infrastructure in order to achieve its political aims. We don't follow that inverted thinking. As an example, when did Al Qaeda ever hold a trial for its militants who killed indescriminately? Such a trial would run counter to the "principal" Al Qaeda pushes. Tancredo probably isn't aware his thinking is right in line with the terrorists he wishes to thwart. All the same, quite visibly, Tancredo lacks the mental capacity to be President.

    August 4, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Michael from Nashville, TN

    Tancredo is talking about an act of violence that by comparison would make 9/11 look timid. Can't you see that we're becoming terrorists ourselves?! We're throwing away everything this country is supposed to stand for!!

    People here are talking about bombing civilian targets are firing missiles at skyscrapers! This is madness! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!?!?!

    August 4, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Justin, Cleveland, Ohio

    This is completely unacceptable coming from an American politician. His extremist views are completely against everything that America is about. Unfortunately, his views are accepted by those who are just as ignorant as he is. This is very sad.

    August 4, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Don, Dallas TX

    Its a great idea! Terrorist must understand that there will be consequences for their actions. The U.S is not able to pin point where each attack is based from. The only threat that covers all muslims is the threat to destroy Mecca.

    August 4, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Michael from Nashville, TN

    There once was a man who advocated preemption in the name of national security.

    His name was Hitler.

    August 4, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Alexander, Upper Marlboro, MD


    "It is considered a sin in the Koran to attack anybody just because you don’t like there religion."

    Nonsense. Read 9.29 of your Quran. Read the various hadiths and Quranic versus that support attacking non-muslims. The word "innocent" does not mean the same thing to muslims as to non-muslims. Just saying something bad about Muhammad makes you guilty and could warrent your death. A woman not wearing the proper Islamic dress means they are an enemy of Islam. Also most of passages that talk of peace in the Quran relate only to muslims. It does not relate at all to non-muslims. People of the book (Jews and Christians) get better treatment then pegans but even they are put into a dhimmi status which means they have no rights and are treated as inferior humans. Remember Islam is not an individual faith but a community or collective. Nation states don't mean anything to a pious muslim. Islam is also a way of life and government.

    Pious muslims must establish and fight (Jihad) to establish the will Allah (Islamic Law) on the whole world.

    "Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah. (Sahih Bukhari, 1:2:24 [see also 4:52:196])"

    August 4, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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