Rep. Tom Tancredo
Tom Tancredo, the Colorado congressman who caused an uproar with the suggestion Muslim holy sites could be taken out in response to a nuclear attack on U.S. cities, is making no apologies if people are offended by his frank talk.
“Many critics of my statements have characterized them as ‘offensive,’ and indeed they may have offended some,” writes Tancredo in a guest commentary in the Denver Post. “But in this battle against fundamentalist Islam, I am hardly preoccupied with political correctness, or who may or may not be offended. Indeed, al-Qaida cares little if the Western world is ‘offended’ by televised images of hostages beheaded in Iraq, subway bombings in London, train attacks in Madrid, or Americans jumping to their death from the Twin Towers as they collapsed.”
Tancredo, who in recent months has been an outspoken critic of immigration policies allowing illegal aliens to stream across U.S. borders, says few can argue the current approach to the war on terror has deterred fundamentalists from killing Westerners, adding so-called moderate Muslims and leaders of Muslim countries have done little to crack down on extremists.
“That being the case, perhaps the civilized world must intensify its approach,” Tancredo says. “Does that mean the United States should be retargeting its entire missile arsenal on Mecca today? Does it mean we ought to be sending Stealth bombers on runs over Medina? Clearly not.
“But should we take any option or target off the table, regardless of the circumstances? Absolutely not, particularly if the mere discussion of an option or target may dissuade a fundamentalist Muslim extremist from strapping on a bomb-filled backpack, or if it might encourage ‘moderate’ Muslims to do a better job cracking down on extremism in their ranks.”
Tancredo’s commentary comes in the wake of reaction to his remarks during a Florida radio discussion.
In the interview with Pat Campbell of WFLA radio, 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.”
Tancredo’s office clarified the comments, saying Tancredo was not advocating an attack on Muslim holy sites.