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

    Is this fellow a senator and running for the presidency of U.S.A. ?
    God help us.

    August 6, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  2. Suraiya, Denver, Colorado

    I'm ashamed that he's from Colorado.

    August 7, 2007 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. Afeef, India

    Tom Tancredo is not fit to be US President. Futur US President should have positive mind set and lover of peace then complete world will be at peace.

    August 7, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  4. Rick Alden

    Where did they say the terrorists came from?

    August 7, 2007 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. USA

    It's amazing how this man has succeeded in beginning to tear this country apart on this issue. BRAVO Tancredo!

    For any intelligent person that went to school and was taught RESPECT and HISTORY learned that acts of GENOCIDE (yes, that's what he's doing) is WRONG – can spot a man like Tancredo from a mile away.

    For every other person that got high during class and agrees with Tancredo, all I have to say to you is that you people are no different than Hitler's followers and no different than Osama's followers ... You people are becoming the TERRORISTS!!

    August 7, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    We should not confuse the jihadists with the Muslims. Most Muslims are peace loving people. Threatenting to bomb their holy sites in response to a threat or act from a very small segment of Muslims (who are really not Muslims) would make enemies out of the much larger, moderate group of Muslims. Does this man hate all Muslims? What an idiot.

    If we bomb their holy sites I suppose we should prepare for them to do the same to ours. Oh yes, right, that is why the Christianists are so supportive of Isreal, because the Isrealies protect our sites. Never mind that the Christianists think the Jews are going to hell anyway because they killed Christ. What a bunch of hypocrites. Isn't there something in the Bible about not worshipping false idols, wouldn't that include religious relics and sites. We should not be worshipping things.

    Obviously, the republican party is completely demoralized. The party for wingnuts and other crazy people.

    August 7, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Truth, Madison, Wisconsin

    His approach is a bit irrational but does merit some discussion. The Saudi government which is the largest recipient of US dollars for oil and supposedly a friend of the United States is also built on a foundation of Wahhabi Islam. The Saudi family's ability to rule the arabian peninsula is the consequence of religious/ideological support from the Wahhabi clergy that dates back over 100 years, possibly longer. The same Wahhabi ideology is spread with support from the Saudi government and the royal family in the form of madrassas and mosques built in many places around the world (including US and Europe). The ideology taught to those who attend is an intolerant one that has no place for any other religion or ideology but islam. So the focus should be on Saudi Arabia, the royal family, the clergy and the funds that flow from the Saudi government/royal family to those who wish to remake the world into what they wish it to be (a(n) (sunni)islamic caliphate). If this indeed is the goal of the clergy that populate the Saudi Arabian peninsula and the cities of Mecca/Medina, should this option be ruled out?

    Truth Alone Triumphs

    August 8, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  8. Salman,Tampa,FL

    Everyday people in America get upto, Good Morning America and this is pleasent to everyone in the world. launching attacks of Holy Cities,Mecca and Medina would be suicide. Muslims fromall over the world will slay each and every non-muslim and the whole is to suffer. if people think this is a joke, then fine US is to make its keys allies like Saudi Arabia and pakistan its worst enemies. US would be NUKED and life would be terrible.

    would Christians like it if the Vatican City was to be bombed?

    Thinks again, it is a poor move and move to provoke the inside beast which when unleashed could mean WW3.

    August 8, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  9. Nedzad, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    “USA should use nuclear bomb against the Muslims holy sites (MECCA AND MEDINA) to stop the terrorism.”

    When Ottoman Imperia decided to dismiss then actual military system and to introduce regular army (Nizaam), nobody in Bosnia wanted to go to that new Army. Then they choose a group of soldiers, dressed them in nice uniforms with turbans and put them in a line just before Gazi Husref Bey Mosque in Sarajevo. People, not knowing what that new military is, started to gather and ask what is that? Then, they heard, “This is a new Army which will protect Holly Mecca and Medina if they are attacked by non-believers”. People which refused to go to Nizaam, when heard that, instantly started to apply for Army because that was the highest possible honor for every Muslim, to protect Holly sites. In short time, the Bosnian contingent was full. Hamdija Kresevljakovic has mentioned this last in his famous book about Bosnia history. I thought about this story when I heard that somebody thinks he may bombard Mecca and Medina. I simply cannot imagine, at the first place, how somebody could even think that such the act may resolve the problem of terrorism. This would produce mega terror where ordinary people would like to revenge on anything what has western sign. Just wanted to share this anecdote from Sarajevo with you, so I cannot conclude the possible consequences of even such the statement and, as itself, such the statement makes serious harm to the peace, making average Muslim hard to fight against radical elements (mostly created by the West during the war in Afghanistan).

    August 8, 2007 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  10. Sohail Chaudhry

    How is he even considered a candidate? Bombing Mecca and Medina would probably the worst thing anyone can think of. Another politician scoring points on what the [ignorant] people want to hear.

    August 8, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. swill15 DP, New York

    It seems no one else has suggested an alternative idea to deter the Islamic Fundamentalists from detonating a nuclear device on American soil.
    Please remember that these people are FANATICS, and understand only one thing- force. Yes, not all Muslims are terrorists, but so far all the terrorists have been Muslim.

    August 8, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Amir, KY

    nip this devil in the butt or it will become monster and get out of control. no one has attached his religion or even talked about it.

    August 8, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. Mitchell : Bellview, VA

    Tom Tancredo is crazy.

    August 8, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Musa Islam, Youngstown, Ohio

    wow woooow What an idiot. I mean what a stupid thing to say. As an American Muslim I take great offence, not that he threatened Mecca and Medina, but that SOMEONE actually elected this bigot to Congress. If the smallest of bombs went off in Mecca or Medina It would be open season on anyone non-Muslim,Jews, Christians, a bomb under the pope's sheets. Not saying that, that is right aether, but wow. That is what would happen. 2Billion SUPER angry Muslims who would be happy to die for their religion... Can you say... End of the world?

    August 9, 2007 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  15. Edward, New York, NY

    What many posters are ignoring is that Congressman Tancredo recommends a RETALIATORY nuclear attack on Mecca IF and only if the US were to suffer a nuclear attack that is connected to Islamists.

    This policy would leave it to the Ummah to stop their crazies who are trying to trigger WW3.

    BTW, if Saudi Arabia were truly a friend of the US, Saudi troops would be fighting along side of American troops to capture Osama and the Al-Qada – but Saudi Arabia is NOT.

    August 9, 2007 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  16. Gem Bara, Langkawi, Malaysia

    Quoting Chris Clifton, NJ : August 3, 2007 1:09 pm: "100% agree. If these nut case islamic fundamentalist want to even think of attacking us we should make it perfectly clear to them that if you even attempt to attack us and suceed, we will turn all your holy sites into a super sized craters.

    I suggest we wait until they are all at Mecca then bomb it. They showed no mercy for us on 9/11, so we are just returning the favor."

    But, mind you Chris, the most populous time is when when Muslims worldwide congregate in Mecca during the Hajj season. Well, you may eliminate 2 million Muslims and create a gargantuan crater in Mecca and Medina. But simple maths will say this:
    Total Muslims 1.302 billion.
    Eliminate 2 million, and you get one third of the world population attacking the U.S from the north, south, east and west. They will come with ill-equipped molotovs and also well-prepared nuclear and super-ionic bombs and missiles.

    What you give, you get back.

    Posted By Chris – Clifton, NJ : August 3, 2007 1:09 pm

    August 9, 2007 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  17. A World Citizen

    Well, Let us ponder on certain things before we discuss what Tancredo has said.

    "History is written by the victorios side"

    That means those who win wars also write the history books that others study.

    The good points of the loser is wiped out and his bad policies are reflected and along with that the victors bad policies are ignored while the good ones are highlighted.

    Think what we would have read in the history books if Germany and Japan would have been victors of World War II.

    What I intend to say here is not everything about the victor is good and loser is Bad, but it depends on how it is projected.

    These are injustices every victor keeps on doing where by all the grudges of the loser is accumulated till it forms some form of protest.

    The Muslim relegion was created to protect the "have not" from the attrocities of the "haves" and thus Jehad was a term coined to fight againts the injustice caused to the "have nots".

    Therefore this relegion was accepeted initially by millions of "have nots"

    Clocked moved on and the central theme was forgotten, because the relegion was then spread using force by the Muslim rulers who fought against the "haves" and established there regimes.

    A look around the world will show that the muslims also forms the bulk of the worlds poors who also feel the developed countries are enjoying all the good things when they don,t have a good days meal. Thus the anger in them leads them to support there feeling of injustice whenever there is even a single case of "percieved" injustice by the developed world especially there leader "America"

    Now coming back to Tencredo's statement.

    Being a US elected representative, he should be careful about his statement in Public because in any case he will not be able to do that even when he is made the President of US as the consequences would be a full fledged was WW III where US will be precieved as the aggressor without thinking.

    He may personally think anything, but as a responsible person, he sould know that no relegion preaches violence. So hitting at the highest level of muslim holy site will make US as a villian in the eyes of BILLIONS of peace loving muslims around the world who may be sympathatic to US causes at present. A handful of the Muslims are terrorist now and they are also disowned in Public by there reletives if found to be involved in any case of terrorism. All of these Terrorist will then become legitamate Solders and will get open support from from the Muslim world.

    and THIS IS A MAJOR GOAL OF THE TERRERISTS, to get full fledged support from the Muslim world in the cause of JEHAD.

    And Mr. Tancredo, you are helping them to achieve their GOAL.

    So go on and bomb the holy site and make US a site of WW III

    If Japan could bomb Pearl Harbour in 1941 so Terrorist can do much more in 2007. 9/11 may then be like a Trailor.

    Look at the foriegn poliy:

    Are all US foriegn policies politically correct?

    Are they making friends or more enimies?

    Are they doing anything for the "HAVE NOTS" or adding more to the kitty of "HAVES"?

    and then fight the US Presidential war based on the Policies that a US President will follow to make the world a safer place with more people accepting US as their leader.

    August 9, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Notice To All Muslims! Please do not worry as Allah has clearly stated in the Quran that Allah will protect the two holy cities and retain the Quran in it's original state until the end of this world. You (the Musilm) should follow the sunna of Mohammed PBU strive to better yourself (towards Islam) and rise above all the ills of this world. You have nothing to fear – Allah is our protector. A word to the leaders of all Musilm countries – wake-up before it's too late – your neglect to your public is the cause of todays situation. May God help us all live in peace for life is too short – I belive religion (all religions) is NOT the cause of any violence it's the politicians who use it in any way they can to save their postion or to get votes. I am sure that this guy will not gain control of the USA since most USA citizens do not think like him... The best way to stop any kind of terrorist attacks is to find the root cause and work towards fixing any issues as best possible... I think it's wrong to refer to terrorists as Muslim Terrorists (ones having a muslim name) since no other such people are named in same way (IRA was never called Christian Terrorists). These so called Muslim Terrorists even attack Muslims (similar to what IRA did)... UK sorted the IRA problem and I think UK should lead the way to help sort out current situation and bridge the gap between Christians and Muslims.

    August 9, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. Gary Bowers, Birmingham, Alabama

    The United States no longer has the appetite to fight a war to win. We are only willing to fight wars in a manner that is politically correct. That is why we have not won a conflict since WWII. So no matter what the size or magnitude of a terrorist attack on our country, we do not have the will to do what is necessary to respond in such a way that another one will not happen. The only acceptable way to stop terrorism is to surrender to the terrorist demands. Everyone must convert to Islam and allow Israel to be totally destroyed. Then the terrorists will be satisfied with us.

    August 9, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. Edward, New York, NY

    Quoting Gem Bara, Langkawi, Malaysia,

    You say there are 1.302 billion Muslims.

    Please consider that there are 5 billion NON-Muslims. Many of whom live in highly advanced technological societies, societies that put men on the Moon and returned them safely, societies that placed remote controlled rovers on Mars, societies that defeated nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

    Predominantly Hindu India almost had a nuclear war with Pakistan over Kashmir. Thankfully that never happened.

    Please don't make the mistake of doubting the resolve of 5 billion NON-Muslims.

    As far as I'm concerned, the US has been fighting with one arm tied behind its back too long. A nuclear attack on the US would be the straw that breaks the camels back.

    I think it was very wise of Mr. Tancredo to voice the possiblity of a retaliatory strike at the heart of the Muslim world in response to any nuclear attack on the US.

    This is a high stakes poker game and I'm placing my bet on the West and like minded societies.

    August 9, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Oza, Chicago, IL

    Well,guess what, Mr. Tancredo is a genius - he says something completely idiot and ignorant and in return he gets tons of free publicity! Cheap trick and all of us are buying it?

    I reckon this is a record high for AC360 blog with more than 1600 comments. Ignore him!

    August 9, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. rob, ny, ny

    it's an idiotic statement by a nobody from the far right, but if a nuke goes off in times square and a million americans die you can be damned sure alot of people in this country will not be too upset if we do what he suggests.

    August 12, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. John carlsbad CA

    you guys have no clue what you're talking about. Tom Tancredo knows what hes talking about.

    Guys we are dealing with blood thirsty terroists who do want to nuke us, and if they do get a nuke they will use it.

    Tancredo is smart, the only way to stop
    these terroists from bombing the us is to use agressive deterrent talk by saying if you bomb us well bomb your holy sites, so in the end the probably wont bomb us if they think our president is being serious.

    August 12, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. Razali

    WW2 was the last honourable world conflict that America took part and since that, America has been led by idiots, morons, jokers, thieves, skirt chasers & cheats.
    I thought Bush was the father of all idiots and cheats but Tom Tancredo beats him to it.
    C'on America, wake up, be counted and return back to the days when you were respected – not feared!
    C'on Americans, be true blue Americans and set things straight again. Make the White House whiter than white with honour, respect and transparency.
    If I had it my own way, Id gather all the racists, extremists, KKKs, idiots, morons, cheats and allow them to be pioneers on the moon and elect Bush and Tancredo as President & VP!
    Our world will be a safer place for our children!

    August 13, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Mark Bales, Norman, OK

    Saudi Arabia pretends to be our friend so we will protect them and buy their oil. We pretend that they are our friends so we will have an uninterrupted flow of oil, and so the Saudi's will continue to insist on receiving US dollars, which conveniently props up the US economy.

    A more likely target will be Tehran and the Iranian Holy city of Qom, from which they expect to see their Muslim "Madhi" rise from the well in that main Mosque in Qom.

    It is not contradictory for a Christian to say they will nuke a muslim city, the President of the United States of America has a fiduciary responsibility to protect this country. Saudi Arabia continues to fund Sunni extremists, and promotes the Wahabbist sect of Islam, which Osama Bin Laden is a member of. So they are only friends to us out of convenience.

    Having said that I would threaten to bomb Tehran and Qom if we received another attack on the homeland, and also if they do not stop interfering with us in Iraq.

    August 14, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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