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Rep. Tom Tancredo
The controversial lobby group Council on American-Islamic Relations wants the Republican Party to repudiate Rep. Tom Tancredo’s discussion in a recent radio interview about the possibility of the U.S. could bombing Mecca if provoked by a nuclear terrorist attack on American soil.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the Colorado Republican clarified his remarks after the interview Friday, saying he was not suggesting that the U.S. should bomb the Islamic holy site as a response to a nuclear homeland attack by al-Qaida.
The congressman’s press secretary told WorldNetDaily the comments were an off-the-cuff response to a hypothetical situation.
“He doesn’t believe that we should go out and threaten to bomb anybody’s holy city,” said spokesman Will Adams.
But CAIR’s government affairs director, Corey Saylor, urged the Republican Party and its leadership to “clearly distance America and the GOP from Tancredo’s inflammatory and irresponsible remarks.”
Yesterday, CAIR sent letters to President Bush and the chairmen of the national and Colorado Republican Parties.
“While the rest of America seeks to win the war on terror, isolate extremists and improve our nation’s international image, Rep. Tancredo is busy handing rhetorical ammunition to those who would do us harm,” Saylor said.
In the interview with Pat Campbell of WFLA radio in Orlando, Tancredo discussed his request for a briefing from the Justice Department on information it has on plans revealed by WND this week for a nuclear attack on the U.S. by al-Qaida terrorists.
Campbell noted that just after the July 7 London bombings, former Israeli counterterrorism intelligence officer Juval Aviv predicted an attack in the U.S. within the next 90 days. Aviv believes the plan is to attack not one big city, like New York, but half-a-dozen smaller ones, including towns in the heartland.
The host asked Tancredo, “Worst case scenario, if they do have these nukes inside the border, what would our response be?”
The congressman replied: “There are things you could threaten to do before something like that happens, and then you have to do afterwards, that are quite draconian.”
“Well,” Tancredo continued, “what if you said something like, ‘If this happens in the United States and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you could take out their holy sites.'”
Campbell: “You’re talking about bombing Mecca?”
Tancredo: “Yeah. What if you said, we recognize that this is the ultimate threat to the United States, therefore this is the ultimate response.”
The congressman quickly added, “I don’t know, I’m just throwing out some ideas, because it seems that at that point in time you would be talking about taking the most draconian measures you could imagine. Because other than that, all you could do is tighten up internally.”
The Washington, D.C.-based CAIR is a spin-off of a group described by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the terrorist group Hamas in the U.S.
Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.
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