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. N25

    If anything you're just asking for more

    August 5, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Jim Vance Saginaw MI

    I think this is a great idea. I don't want anyone killed but If the next time we are attacked I hope the people that are against it are the one that pay the price for their stupidty. I beleve the Bible says somthing about an eye for a eye?

    August 5, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. malay

    most americans are just trying to act morally correct. for goodness sake, do you think the terrorist give a damn if u treat them nice?
    They only have one objective, that is to convert the whole world to be the same religion as them. If not you are clasified as infidels, and you are justified to have your head cut off or murdered.
    get real, Tancredo is doing u guys a favor

    August 5, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Chris

    Way to preach peace you hypocritical bigot.

    August 5, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Steve Savage, Neptune, New Jersey

    Americans are a very very dangerous adversary. If, or when, we finally accept that our very existence is threatened with annihilation, God have mercy on the antagonists. Nagasaki and Hiroshima are proof that we are capable of any outrage and will use any means at our disposal to relegate our enemies into historical oblivion, to trample them into dust under our feet. The truth be told, we aren't really looking to deter our enemies; we are hungry ravenous wolves drawing their arrogant offensive bravado into an awaiting Hell they cannot imagine. The fools have ignited our Blood Lust which will not be assuaged until Arabic joins Latin and Sanskit as dead languages.
    Steve Savage "King of the Beasts"

    August 5, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Tammy, Wichita, Kansas

    Some of the people posting here are just as bigoted as he is. There are over a billion Muslims worldwide. Indonesia has the highest per capita of Muslims than anywhere, the Middle East does not! To damage something that is sacred to all Muslims for the actions of a few is irresponsible and reprehensible, and would set off Muslims from the Orient to the U.S. not just a few fanatical morons from the mid east. To compare these few (amongst billions) to the entire military of the Japanese is misleading because they are not a legitimate military, they are NOT "Islamic" terrorists as the media insists on calling them because they are going outside of the religion to do what they do. Most importantly there are believe it or not large Christian and Jewish communities in these countries. In Syria the Christians with the support and protection of the Islamic government still speak the original Aramaic of Jesus. But if we bomb Mecca and Medina (both are in Saudi) those communities would be put in grave danger of being the nearest available for retaliation. This is politics for these terrorists, it is agenda driven, no matter how they use their religion, but if you bomb the Islamic Holy sites YOU make it about religion, and that is a place no one should want to go, since the terrorists are bullies they need to be dealt with, but not by alienating over a billion peoples who should be our best allies in this. One person said it right, the middle east wants to be able to live their lives without our interference and telling them what and how to do it. We didn't care what Saddam was doing to his people for years and years, it is all about Oil. Don't believe it, then tell me where is Osama Bin Laden?

    August 5, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Tammy, Kansas

    For Seth Hill who asked a legitimate question, if not then what? what do we do to stop the terrorists. Understand WHY!! Why do they do what they do? because the U.S. continues to interfere and oppress (through the support of the dictators who run those countries) their peoples all for the control of the oil. We trained Bin Laden and the pakistani/afghani mujahideen to fight against Russia, we promised to help them rebuild after it was over and we didn't, we left that country in bombed out ruin and wide open for the warlords to take over and then the Taliban. We created a hatred towards us ourselves. We took in the Shah of Iran, we harbored a man who was three times worse than Saddam, and refused to send him back to stand trial in his own country like we should have, it was their right!! but he was our 'friend'. We aided Saddams rise and supported him as long as he fought against our newly minted enemy, Iran, not caring what he did to his own people. You have seen the pictures of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. We even returned the dictators of Kuwait back to their country once we liberated it from Saddam, and when a Saudi attacked this country on 9/11 what did we do? We sent his entire family home on a plane, while all others were grounded, and did nothing to Saudi, made no demands of Saudi to get Bin Laden and do something with him, we did not use diplomacy to get him from the Taliban, (which they were willing to do) we attacked an already dirt poor afghanistan and bombed it back into the ice age. It cannot even list itself as a third world country now! We mourn over a few thousand American dead, and yet keep silent over hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents, men, women, and children who are coldly labeled as "collateral damage" and dismissed as 'accidental' bombings, because their lives don't mean anything to us, and you seriously don't understand why they hate us?? Yet, if you were to go to Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or Iran, you as an American citizen would be treated with Unbelievable hospitality, because the people outside of the governments are really wonderful people and that is how they were raised to be, and they really do think we are a great nation. They hate our government and what it represents, because it has meant nothing but pain and suffering to them. Our government and their ignorant foreign policy is what got us into this mess and if there is another attack, and one poster assured those in "wonderland" there will be, it is because of that Foreign Policy and our meddling where we ought not to, and our total disregard for the sanctity of their lives, the lives of those who are innocent.

    August 5, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. wdporter, leesburg, va

    This is the problem with single-issue (and just single-minded) candidates. When they open their mouths to discuss topics outside of their core issue, they sound like dummies.

    Kucinich is the same way on the other side. His response to economic questions is always, "Hey if we weren't spending so much money on our military, we'd have tons of money."

    Tancredo is an illegal immigration wonk, but he evidently hasn't spent a lot of time on other issues.

    It's still early, but eventually he's going to have to stop wasting our time, so the adults can have an adult conversation. The same goes for:

    Gravel, Kucinich, Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, Brownback, Gilmore (I think he already pulled out).

    I personally think things could even be MORE reasonable if Richardson and McCain would both give it up as well, but that's just me...

    Clinton, Obama, Rudy, Romney, Biden, Huckabee, Hunter...those are the only current candidates that I could ever picture being president anytime soon, and I'd rather just hear what they have to say (yes I left out Edwards–I simply don't like the guy, at all).

    Other than Fred Thompson and AlGore, anyone else is going to have to come from a "third party" or independent to even add to the debate, much less be a serious contender.

    August 5, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Danial, DFW TX

    If Tancredo hates Muslims so much, why doesn't he forcibly evict Muslim residents from Colorado then?

    Why does he continue to support Mujahideen-e-Khalq? He refers to them as freedom fighters even though they are considered a "terrorist group" by the State Department.

    And those who agree with his comments, I dare you to express those comments in front of a group of Muslims and see what happens to you. It's easy to be a warmongering bigot behind the safety of your computer, but in reality are nothing but spineless bastards.

    I'm in DFW, try to evict me you cowards. I'm a proud Muslim American and will be until the day I die, so you cannot take that away from me at all.

    August 5, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Joshua, Sunnyvale, CA

    The war in Iraq is a cold war against
    the Saudi Arabian sunni faction that
    committed the 9-11 attacks. Saudi Arabia
    could not be directly attacked due to
    our nation's need for crude.

    August 5, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Ruben

    This guy is no different than the terrorists with these types of comments.

    There are over 2 billion people of the muslim faith that would immediately go from being suspicious of the US to looking at our country as an "enemy". That includes American Muslims as well.

    I would be embarrased to vote for a clown with that type of rhetoric

    August 5, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. amidt

    try that and you will see what would happen to the world...

    August 5, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Maghy, Sanaa, Yemen

    Well, every election needs its crackpot to keep things interesting, I think the jocker just revealed himself. Doesn't he watch the news? Look what happened after the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Karballah and that was just a minor place of importance, imagine the response to Mecca and Medina being attacked, this guy is such an idiot, obviously he can't put things together in his mind. Its amazing that these kind of people are elected in the first place but he might have been sane then.

    August 5, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  14. KD, Dallas, TX

    What on earth is the Republican party thinking? I thought Bush was a bit like Hitler, but this guy is just plain scary. We don't need to start something so big that every single Moslem on earth hates the US. There are many good Moslems. If one were to take statistics into consideration, you are probably talking about a very small percentage that train as terrorists. Why on earth would you want to kill many innocent people to seek revenge against such a small minority...only furthering the hatred and difficulties we would endure as a result. Clearly, some people in Washington have no foresight as to what the world could become. Iraq was insane enough, this is just plain mindboggling. The reference to 911 and THEY that caused it in the mosques just shows how misinformed some people can be; and therefore how scary the world can be due to ignorance. I am all for getting those that committed such mass destruction on our soil, but even our government made mistakes and many have lost their lives due to our being in Iraq which had nothing to do with 911. We lost sight of what we really needed to be doing when we started that war and took our focus off of Afghanistan and Bin Ladin.

    August 6, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. Karen Janbaz. Oklahoma City, OK

    Bomb Mecca and Modina. No more moderate Moslems. Churchs and the Vatican, better watch out, Tancredo, has set you up for Jihad. Boy, you think Iraq is bad now...

    August 6, 2007 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  16. Keith Binghamton NY

    Wow, that is the dumbest thing that I've ever heard!

    What the terrorists want is total war between the west and the Islamic world. If the US were to bomb Mecca, that would be every radical Islamic terrorists' wet dream. And you can't destroy Mecca, dummy. Turn it into a crater, and the crater becomes a holy site.

    August 6, 2007 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  17. David B. Gillis, Nassau Bay, TX

    Tancredo joins Obama in the looney bin of the most bizarre of presidential candidates. And Bay Buchanan is the binkeeper! How do these people get elected to Congress? While 'holy' anything is a myth, it warrants more respect than 'idiot.'

    August 6, 2007 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  18. Ally, NY,NY

    This man will most definitely have EACH AND EVERY MUSLIM- fundamentalist, moderate or non-practising destroy USA.

    He doesn't realise what he is saying. oh wait! Isn't that a definition of a mad man?

    August 6, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Erika, New York, NY

    It's like when extremists bombed the World Trade Center and Americans stopped being capitalists.

    August 6, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Robert, Miami, FL

    This "guy" is somekind of loon, for sure, when he "demoted" Miami as a third-world city. Now we have this "representative" talking about an absolutely insane retaliation (even if we knew who were responsible, that wouldn't justify this kind of action for said "cell"-terrorist activity)... no doubt he'll loose this presidential bid. He should realize how lost he is, indeed "RESIGN" and apologize for his mis-conduct. The Islamic World Reads, and his statements are surely just stoking the fire. We don't need his kind, to help promulgate a new crusade, or to define the clash of "culture".

    August 6, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Bill McIntosh

    I agree with Tancredo. There is a Fatah that permits Osama Bin Laden to kill up to 10,000,000 Americans.

    During the Cold War, we had thousands of nuclear warheads tasked to Soviet targets. It was called MAD (mutually assured destruction)

    It worked; there was no war

    The nuclear option would specify an ultimate price to be paid by Islam for wanton death brought about by fundamentalists acting in its name; Islam might then consider leading its militant followers along a more enlightgened path.

    August 6, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Bobby, Denver, CO

    He makes a lot of sense to me. Babies aren't off limits to the Islamic animals, so why should their holy sites be off limits to us?

    August 6, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. We didn't all vote for Bush and other morons, TX.

    Hmmm... so what he is saying that if we bomb Muslim Holy Lands then all will be okay? Where has this guy been? Hasn't he heard of Palestine and Israel? Enough said.

    August 6, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. memon

    I think he knows that he is not going to win(not even close) and thats why trying to put fire in his campaign.
    I cant believe that he is runing for a President a fanatic president HA!! or Ah!!!
    His comments and ideas are no different probably worse than terrorist. He made USAMA look better.

    August 6, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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