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. Frank, Miami, FL

    Is this the human capital we're producing lately to lead the nation and the world???!!! Seems to me we're bankrupt then...

    August 3, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. John, Haleyville, AL

    This comment is for news article:
    Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

    Is this guy really that incompetent? Yeah let's become the barbarians and bomb innocent women and children in their churches, better yet let's bring back the inquisition and start burning people at the stake if your not a christian. Why stop there, shoot were a nuclear nation, just nuke the entire country (or countries) that we have a problem with and commit genocide. (In case you didn't realize, especially that congressman, I'm being sarcastic) This guy has no business being a congressman, and I'll bet come election time, he won't be. The United States stands for freedom, and that includes freedom of religion congressman. We don't go around murdering people because we don't agree with their religion. Oh wait, is that not what we are fighting against? Fanatics that go around murdering people because they don't worship the samething they do? Are you congressman really suggesting we ourselves become terrorist in order to fight terrorist? Surely you're not that incompetent. I'm a southern baptist myself born and raised. I'm not about to hold an entire race of people responsible for the actions of a few fanatics, nor am I going to kill someone because they don't worship the same way I do. And I'm certainly not going to condone the actions you are suggesting to take, nor will the rest of the world. Some people just don't get it. The only way to get to the future is together.

    August 3, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Mike, HI

    OK, this is probably the dumbest thing I've ever read.

    Bombing Muslim's holiest sites will surely win us the war against terror!!

    Seriously, this would probably make bin Laden even more determined to attack, as this kind of response would get half the world to support him.

    August 3, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Mark, Chicago IL

    Typical Republican idiot. Man are Republicans stupid.

    August 3, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Irving, TX

    This shows the mind(less?)set of our leadership... A state representative with such venom and ignorance is beyond comprehension. But then the subject here is beyond reason... Why reason!

    I thought I had seen them all.

    August 3, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Trevor Willis, Springfield, VA

    hahahahaha, just like how when they bombed the Twin Towers, we were deterred from attacking any more muslim countries, right?

    August 3, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Nawaz, East Hartford,CT

    I can say I am not the most political person in the world but I do know that if this moron can consider bombing the holy cities of Islam, it's only going to make things worse. Muslims in the U.S do not condone the acts of terrorism that is happening in Iraq, and elsewhere, but one thing that all muslims have in common are the holy cities.It's only going to outrage muslims all over the world and make things worse than they already are.Who voted this guy in?

    August 3, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Michael, Oceanside, CA

    What exactly is crazy about Tancredo's comments? It's obvious that the liberal philosophy of appeasement doesn't work. I can guarantee you the Islamists wouldn't find attacking our cities as "reprehensible".

    So liberals and elitists Republicans, explain how you deter Islamists from attacking our country?

    August 3, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Steve, Oakville, Ontario

    Treat the Islamic fundamentalists like Japan of the 1940's. Blunt force trauma is the only thing that they will respect and understand. Good call Tom.

    August 3, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Talulah, Philadelphia, PA

    So...if the logic behind his idea holds true, Tancredo would stop being a Christian fundamentalist/extremist if al Qaeda bombed his house? Huh.

    August 3, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Wayne, San Jose, Costa Rica

    Tancredo lost it.
    1. Islam's holy cities are in Saudi soil, a US ally.
    2. The are more Muslims than any other religious followers in the world.
    3. Violence leads to violence. An act like the one he mentions would stir MORE US hatred and violence in other countries where things are "calm"... all Middle-Eastern states, many Asian-Pacific states, and many many more Muslims in other countries.
    4. In WWII, not only did we have to bomb Japan TWICE (they were NOT fighting for their religion but for their honor), but this action only stopped this one axis country... the others surrendered after years of war in their soil.
    5. You can not blame a religion for what some Islamic extremists are doing. Or are the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Ku Klux Klan, the Army of God or other Christian terrorist organizations an accurate representation of all Christians and God believing persons?

    August 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Jon Jernigan, Memphis, TN

    This man is an idiot. Enough said.

    August 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Janet, Corpus Christi, Texas

    Finally! Yes! The perfect deterrent. Absolutely! I am behind this idea 110%. Since they hold no value on human life, but only on "holy" places, I can't think of anything that would be a better deterrent than this.

    August 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Jeff , Douglass, KS

    Holy nutjobs, Batman! How soon can we get this guy into a rubber room? Does he want to go to war with the entire planet?

    August 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Tom Annandale virginia

    What a bunch of weak people we have here. WAKE UP WE ARE AT WAR!!!!! You have to make it clear you will hit targets important to your enemy. This sends a clear nuke us you loose something of value to you.
    Are they in places considered "allied"..sadly yes but it also sends a clear message to those allies that they need to step up to the plate and help protect us, themselves and their holy sites.
    You whimp people need to OPEN your eyes and realize that MAD (mutual assured destruction) is a viable deterent. It worked 100% against the Soviet Union. It ALWAYS works.
    Get a spine people.

    August 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. John, Denver Colorado

    I hear alot of complaining about Rep. T but I don't seem to see any new ideas. I guess you guys plan to ask them to stop and send them food and money when the bomb our country. I don't think they will choose not to bomb our churches, schools, dams, powerplants, water treatment facilities, as we did theirs.

    August 3, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. mike

    finally someone who wants to stick up for the USA- we should of done this sooner, like right after 9/11, vote for this guy if you wanna save our country!

    August 3, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |


    August 3, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. GDB, Frederick, MD

    I don't think that most people who would suggest a similar plan of action have ever even studied militant Islamic fundamentalists at all. This man's proposed the most asinine solution to such a complex problem.

    First of all, he assumes that "them" is everyone who is a Muslim. That notion is ridiculous and shows bigotry as the majority of Muslims are peaceful people like you and I who would only be motivated into war-like action by the bombing, therefore creating more enemies that we already have. Secondly, many militant Islamic fundamentalists primarily hate the U.S. because we have put our (secular) troops onto their holy land, which is quite offensive to Islamic tradition. Third, to even assume that all terrorist organizations (and there are dozens more than Al-Qaeda) would be "deterred" by such an action is also uneducated. These groups suffer from in-fighting due to separate idealisms, we would only unite them in their common hatred of us if we bombed their most holy sites. Granted there's much more to consider than what I've just stated, but it shows what a little education can tell you.

    It should now be clear to the citizens of the United States that our politicians, in search of a solution to terrorism, have been making decisions based on no knowledge whatsoever of militant Islamic fundamentalism. We cannot afford to lump terrorists with peaceful people of the same would be just like saying that any two groups of Christians are just alike in their beliefs and practices. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence would know better.

    August 3, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Rob C, Pittsburgh, PA

    Are we forgetting that Saudi Arabia, an ally, is where Mecca and Medina are located? Hey, since we are bombing allies... let's blow up holy sites in Jerusalem, too. That way we can anger the people of the three main religions at the same time.

    I guess we have all forgotten how important it is NOT to blow up your allies. The legacy of Bush... kick your pals in the goodies.

    August 3, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Jordan, Shoreline, WA

    Muslim extremists are likely to take this threat as a challenge to try to start what they perceive, doctrinally, to be the Muslim version Armageddon, when their Allah will defeat the "infidels" once and for all. Moreover, the threat is likely to alienate the Saudis and moderate Muslims everywhere, and will do nothing to help stabilize the Middle East.

    Tancredo is not merely being irresponsible: he is dangerously unbalanced. If a man made such a threat upon an American city instead of a foreign one, he would be arrested as a potential terrorist and evaluated by mental health professionals. Might not be such a bad idea here either.

    August 3, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Brian, Baltimore Maryland

    Scientists will one day mark Tancredo's plan as the worst idea in the history of the world. What would follow an attack on Mecca can only be described as the end of the world: millions of Muslims, enraged by the images of Mecca and Medina being bombed shown over and over on Al-Jazeera, would flood Al-Qaida's recruiting centers, and the United States would topple in a welter of suicide bombings. Every candidate that hopes to win the presidency should denounce Tancredo unequivicably, and Tancredo himself should go into political exile for a probationary period of forever.

    August 3, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. John Smith

    Does Tancredo want to behave the same way extremist do? This is not a good example of moral and ethics from a presidential candidate.

    August 3, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. April Wood Edmond, OK

    You gonna threaten their kids next?

    August 3, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I'm actually glad that CNN aired his comments here because now I know for certain that this lunatic isn't getting my vote.

    August 3, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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