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. Hasan, CA

    You Americans sound like Nazi Germany now .

    August 4, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    You go Sentor.
    I agree. Great idea

    August 4, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Stone

    This comment is very disappointing, thank God majority of americans dont think like this man

    August 4, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Christopher Savoie, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    This man disgusts me. The actions of few Muslims should not bring punishment to them all.
    I don't believe in any higher power but at moments like this I wish I could find comfort knowing this man has an eternity of punishment awaiting his evil choice.

    August 4, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Alex Reyes, San Luis Obispo, CA

    You nailed it right on the kisser! That is the only language they understand.

    August 4, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Dan, Montreal, Quebec

    I don't know what worse: that Tancredo made these comments, or that he ripped off the idea from Nelson DeMille's novel "Wild Fire".

    August 4, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Cesar, El Paso, Tx.

    Beware of stupid fanatics like this idiot. He probably used to get picked on as a kid.

    August 4, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Fred, Providence, RI

    How would bombing holy sites possibly deter future attacks agains the US? Wouldn't it simply escalte tensions in a region already teeming with violence? Woult it not ensure an attack on "western" holy sites (Jerusalem, the Vatican, Fatima, etc.)? For once I would like to hear a politician suggest a way to defuse widespread hatred for America instead of insiting more hatred.

    August 4, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. M.I

    Dirty minded Mr. Tom Tancredo can't think anything else to protect our country. In fact he is trying cheap shots to gain the votes of conservative voters. Different poles show he is not even close to other presidential cnadidates for 2008 US election. We as American already facing lot of hate and opposition all over the world because of our failure of foreign policies. Attacking any religious sites is not a viable option. From his statement it seems to that he is running out of options right at the start. If want to be the president of great nation he should remove crazy ideas and need to be open minded about other religions

    August 4, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. mike, dayton,ohio

    Unfortunately, such statements these days no longer surprise me.

    What is surprising is that a State Department under an increasingly psychotic administration wouldn’t have readily incorporated such wacko options into its already pathological “diplomacy” rather than finding it reprehensible.

    The Bush administration’s longstanding contempt for the differing lives on this planet is the breeding ground for such destructive ideas.

    August 4, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Ameen Atlanta, GA

    How did this retard ever get elected. How can someone even think of such nonsense. Who really is Tancredo trying to gain support from? Is there such a sentiment with among the U.S. population?

    Well now that Tancredo cannot make illegal and legal immigrants scapegoats, as the immigration issue has been put away the strategy is to say outrageous things as such to garner some attention.

    August 4, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Boz, Beaverton, OR

    Unbelievable. That might be the best idea I have ever heard. We can't even control Iraq, and he thinks America can control the rest of the middle east? Not to mention all the other Muslim-dominant countries. The political ramifications in the far east with Indonesia, and in Europe. After a 7 year search for a guy who's more dumb than our President, at least we know his thoughts now before we elect him. However, I remain with the fact that Bush is still the idiot in Washington. Even more so than his little pet, the Attorney General Berto.

    August 4, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Joe Gakenheimer

    It makes sense coming out of the mouth of a high school student, but not out of a representative of our country. There are always options and each one should be considered depending on the circumstance. But threatening a potential attacker is not the way to soothe religious and cultural tensions, thus he is as crazy as a potential terrorist himself.

    August 4, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Skye26, California

    "I guess bombing Mecca & Medina would be one way for us to turn all the Muslims in the world against us and turn this into a full fledged Crusade, though."

    This is precisely what the politically correct liberals of the world would have you believe, and what will put the United States in the dismal cowering state that Europe is currently in with their hostile Islamic population. Europeans have been thoroughly intimidated into silence by the politically correct who castigate their press for using the word "Muslim" to describe suspects, label reasonable cautious actions "stereotyping," and by those who would refuse to use the word "terrorism" to define the acts of violence against innocent subway passengers, etc.
    Jihad against the West has deep historical roots that go far beyond events of the 20th century, and to be ignorant of that fact is suicidal on the part of every American.

    Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali on YouTube. Read "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within" by Bruce Bawer. In other words, wake up America.

    August 4, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |


    August 4, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Khader Mohiuddin, Denver, Colorado

    I strongly condemn the disgusting comments made by TOM.

    This clearly shows, extremists existing in every religions, which has no reflection or relations to any religion.

    Every individual across the world with right frame of mind will condemn TOM for such comments.

    There should be some federal law to discipline to punish individuals that promotes hatred between communities.

    August 4, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Mohammed Sheikh

    Mr. Tom Tancredo, Impossible is the word for you because you failed to catch a little poor man called as "Mr. Osama Bin Laden" and proved yourself of being incapable forget about bombing the holy muslim sites its byond impossible,,,,,, It give a very clear picture that, America under their irresponsible and nonsense leadership cant achieve anything

    August 4, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Alan, Atlanta GA

    Does he not see that bombing a holy muslim site will only cause them to bomb holy christian sites around the world? I love how were still right in the middle of the crusades, but instead of swords and sheilds we have guns, bombs and George W. Bush.

    August 4, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Dallas, Houston TX

    This is the dumbest idea I've heard. These are holy cities that millions of Muslims visit every year. The majority of Muslims are good people. So why destroy something that is very sacred to them and take a "real good chance" of turning the good Muslims against us. We need all the help we can get in keeping the peace. This isn't a way of doing it.

    August 4, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Jimmy, C.B. Iowa

    What a retard. Screw him and all those who agree with him. Another reason why christians suck.

    August 4, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. josh

    This is rather disturbing. The US Presidency is the most powerful position in the world. Mr Tancredo's disturbing comments about bombing Muslim holy sites is completely out of line, and certainly does not befit a future US President.

    Clearly, Mr Tancredo is not fit for the Presidency as he has made it quite obvious that the first thing he'll do once in office would be to blow up Mecca and Medina, just to 'deter terrorists' and to show that 'America means business'.

    The Middle East already has enough problems (Iraq and the Palestinian question, among many other things). We don't need to add Muslims angry at the US over blowing up Mecca and Medina to that list.

    It doesn't matter if Mr Tancredo just said this to look like he has a tougher stance on terrorism – but the fact that he has openly threatened to attack a US ally clearly indicates that he is not a rational thinker, and essentially will not be a good leader of the free world (saying that he wouldn't be a good leader would be an understatement).

    August 4, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I agree with Tom, he has the guts to say what many people feel - if they are religious nuts in favor of destroying us in the name of Allah, then they should taste the same medicine.

    August 4, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. John, Chicago, IL

    It's a wonderful idea. But I think he should give some time frame like a week so that innocent people can move out of the site.

    August 4, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Don Douglas, Centennial, CO

    I proudly claim Tom Tancredo as my Representative from the 6th District of Colorado. Please note that Rep. Tancredo has always stated that an attack on Mecca would be considered if, and only if, an Islamic terrorist comitted an unthinkable act of a detonation a nuclear weapn against a US city. Then, and only then, the terrorists must think about the horror of losing their holy city in retaliation. However, we must show compassion and give the residents of Mecca 48 hours to clear out before a retalitory attack. We cannot keep letting these terrorists have the upper hand on everything. We MUST win this war.

    August 4, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Peter

    The key detail many on the left are missing here is that Tancredo is not calling for using nuclear weapons upon the cities of Mecca and Medina, but he is calling for the consideration of that action if the radical Muslim right, *unchecked by the silent and essentially approving world Muslim majority*, nukes western cities or succeeds in mass murder.

    The United States subjected the German culture to mass murder for their supporting a hate-based leader during WWII. The United States threatened the Soviet Union with the same actions for decades. Both of this action and threat of action had retaliatory foundations, not hate-based initiatives.

    Those who find Tancredo's statement unreasonable are essentially refusing to admit to themselves that if prodded enough, the Western world might find itself in a scenario where it might have to wipe out much of the Islamic world in reaction to an unchecked radical attack. Such a terrible day would be only retaliatory, a detail that Osama bin Laden and friends really do not want the Islamic world to focus on.

    To ignore this potential is to not be responsible.

    August 4, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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