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. Umar,New delhi,New Delhi

    Isnt Mecca a holy site for christians as well because Prophet Abraham built it as a place of worship and that was way before Islam and Christinity. If such is the intelect of this man makes way for people to believe that USA is a unruly and religiously corrupt nation as they do not care for any religious site in the world. SO What will he Bomb next Jerusalem and kills all the Arabs and Israelies living in that region. Maybe we should tie this guy to a space shuttle and make him discuss his wise plans with the Aliens. The world is better off without this nut case.

    August 4, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Queens, NY

    Finally someone who says something right.
    Why should we not threaten when we get threatened. why don't all of you liberal, tree huggers go spend some time over there and let us know how you feel when you get back.

    August 4, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Sink

    The comment and concept of attacking a known place of worship and a place that is known to be Holy is just WRONG.

    August 4, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Sam Columbus, Ohio

    We will never win this war. I hate to say it but America has become complacent, the slow decent into irrelevancy has begun. We have not followed through on anything since Vietnam. Soldiers die fighting for what they believe in and the citizens back home tell them they died for a pointless war. The soldiers return home to find everyone against what they valiantly fought and just to feel normal, to feel like they belong they take up the fight against, what only months earlier, they would have died for. When will nationalism die? We claim to be christians but when American troops go to help nations that are opressed and try to liberate cultures that are on the brink of genocide we say "This is not our war, we have problems of our own." Whether we like it our not as the most powerful nation in the world we have a responsibility to our fellow man. At no point in history has a nation stood up for the plight of the citizens of other nations. The eye of liberty is going blind, and I can see myself as a child with so much faith and hope in The United States turn his back on me tears in his eyes. I hope that one day we will realize that we can not turn a blind eye toward atrocities in other nations, just because some American soldiers will die, believe me they will have died doing a nobler deed than you or I could ever hope to do. Yes, mistakes will be made and yes it will be a long road, but we must stick it out. If we continue on our current course of not following through because of support at home, we will no longer be relevant o nthe world stage.

    August 4, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Ailim, Buffalo, NY

    Sounds like a witchhunt to me.
    Racist and prejudice against a religion so they throw them all together and burn them. Haven't we learned anything from the inquisition?
    We're supposed to be an enlightened people, not backyard hillbilly yokels.

    August 4, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Kumar, Charlotte NC

    Yes. I will vote for Tom. He has the correct solution. We need to teach the Islamic fundamentalists that we will no longer tolarate their crap.

    August 4, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Ken, Charleston, SC

    The better deterrent is to go ahead and queitly start burying small, tactical nukes in Damascas, Rhayd, and Terhan. It might just slip out as a 'rumor' that one move to toss NBC weapons on us, and somebody is going to pull the sting on those suitcase sized 'crowd pleasers'and most of Islam is going to have a 30,000 year half life before anyone can step on the 100 foot thick glass that used to be sand over there.

    August 4, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Bob, Delano, Minnesota

    Yes – definitely – let "the games" begin! I am a Christian and a liberal and even I am fed up. Drop a nuke. As if those radical Muslims are playing nice & fair. Ha!

    August 4, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Walt Bailey

    Tancredo's idea makes sense only if we're prepared to follow it up with a "final solution" type genocide campaign against arabs, persians and all other historically muslim ethnicities. Because if any significant muslim populations are left alive after we destroy muslim holy sites, they'll be after us until they kill us or die trying.

    August 4, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Patrick, ramona california

    Stupidest idea EVER. If terrorists blew up Mt. Rushmore, do you think we would be scared. Hell no, we'd be pissed off. Same goes for them.

    I know that Tancredo will NOT get my vote, and I'll inform everyone I know of this idiocy.

    Ron Paul for President!

    August 4, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Jim, Baltimore, MD.

    There are a few things I'd like to say about this. Fundamentally this guy is correct. The only thing that this religion understands is a strong hand. When Saddam was in power, he kept everyone under his control and his religous party was in the driver's seat. Its the same way in Iran and Syria. The U.S. came in and upset all of that. Now we have to stay and get things back in order. I don't agree with bombing Islamic holy sites, but the extremists need to see, in some way, we aren't going to stand for any of this nonsense. I see some comments on here about a few bad apples in the religion. But my question is.. The 'good' apples in this religion know who the bad ones are and do nothing about it. If they really wanted to move forward and have peace, they would have done something by now about all the upheaveal in their religion. Also, these radicals don't care about any of you. They'd rather see you dead just because you aren't part oftheir religion. I'm a live an let live kind of person, but if anybody has that kind of attitude toward another person, I'm guessing these people need to be taken care of in one way or another.

    August 4, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. J

    WOW talk about IGNORANCE what a hateful man, so you are saying if the next terrorist attacks are donr by Jews you will bomb Jerusalem? and if its done by a christian? than what man resign you dont make sense

    August 4, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. USA citizen (not proud to be) Mary HOPES

    u bomb mecca and medina, that will mean u'r all dieing muslims won't leave u they'll kill you all, all around the universe there are more muslims then u..... than i think he should think again becasue his going to die soon if itz going on likt this his a right morran

    August 4, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Frank Heffernan, Cape Coral, Fl.

    This war now upon us is a relgious war. Throughout history Islam has warred against all not moslem. They continue this now, wherever there are significant numbers of moslems they do violence against; Christians,Jews,Hindus etc. We now face a generational religious war. It will get more and more bitter and brutal. One or the other will win. We indeed will someday destroy their religious sites, they would do the same to us if they could. God or Allah will prevail.

    August 4, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Farrukh, Woking, UK

    Potentially replacing one foolish person in the Whitehouse with another, any wonder why the world no longer looks to the USA as setting 'standards'.

    August 4, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Israr London UK

    The comments of the congressman, is a last
    attempt from him to get some publicity from the media
    & get some loony support among the right – wing.
    Just another nazi + fascist soooooooooooooooo.

    August 4, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Tom, New York, NY

    terrorist attacks happen only because of people like Tancredo

    August 4, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. suppose

    What would you left wing socialists do to deter a terrorist nuclear attack, send an
    urgent letter to the UN begging for help?

    August 4, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Jordan, Austin, TX

    Tom Tancredo is a certified nutcase. Hey, Tom, if we bomb Mecca, someone's weapons of mass destruction will be aimed at the U.S. and I'm not willing to take a bet on their accuracy.

    Tell ya what, go over to Iraq on a visit and tell the natives that.

    Okay people, why are you electing these reckless, idiotic, crazy politicians? Surely there have to be knowledgeable, intelligent, reasonable people out there who aren't wearing combovers or toupees.

    August 4, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. alicho

    Since Tancredo has no hope of becoming pres, he says things that will be attractive to whomever it is that he will go to work for after his political career hits the skids. This is shameless ALL AMERICAN politics at its worse. Mark my words, the moment he is out of office, which should bee soon, he'll go to work for some defense lobby group or something. Scum. To my Muslim brrothers and sisters: Don't worry, we had an insane inept and fundentalist president once, I doubt it will happen again for a while. But then again, this IS america, anything is possible!

    August 4, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Robert, Key West, FL

    Following this logic the US would bomb the Vatican if some wild Catholic group attacks the USA...

    while it might, might be a good deterrent for some, some Islamic fundamentalists what about everyone else that is a good Muslim...i'm sure that would tick them off and they would want to attack the USA and with no other holy sites to lose what do we threaten them with next....carpet bombing their mosques with pig parts...?

    this is some of the stupidest stuff i've heard someone say in a while...

    August 4, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Dems in '08, Frederick, MD

    Absolutely unbelievable. You would think he is working with the Bush Administration. Thank both God and Allah he'll never get the nomination.

    August 4, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Doug Horneman, Mesa, AZ

    This worked against the Russians durring the Cold War why shouldn't it work against the terrorists. Such a counter strike might help to invalidate extreme forms of islam which hold that islam should be forced on the world with the sword and that the holy sites in Medina and Mecca can never be destroyed. Destroying those sites might cause them to rethink their position. Threatening to destroy those sites just might prevent them from attacking us in the first place. I think that Sen. Tancredo is the smartest person running for office on this issue because he understands how the enemy thinks. Those who criticise him are not only ignorant but are encouraging future attacks by making us appear weak.

    August 4, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Craig,London

    How could this lunatic even stand for presedency,doesnt he know there are over a billion muslims. does he want a worl war?

    August 4, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. sbt, Houston, Texas

    I know it is a radical idea, but i have to agree with Tom Tancredo. To beat terrorism, we have to think like them AND retaliate like them – INDISCRIMINATELY. Eye for an eye. There are too many bleeding heart liberals in America – enough is enough.

    August 4, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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