Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Ahead of Planned Koran Burning
(MULBERRY, Fla.) -- The firebrand Florida pastor Terry Jones and an associate were arrested Wednesday as they headed toward a planned burning of close to 3,000 Korans. Deputies arrested Jones as he headed to a park, where he'd announced plans to burn 2,998 Korans -- one for every 9/11 victim -- on the anniversary of the terror attacks. Jones was carrying the books, soaked with kerosene, in the back of his truck.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says Jones was carrying enough firepower to cause a bomb-like explosion in the event of an accident. "He was potentially driving a bomb down the road, had there been a crash," Sheriff Judd said of Jones' kerosene-soaked truckload.
If Jones had carried out the burning, he would have been trespassing in the park, and the sheriff says the trailer carrying the gas-soaked Korans didn't have a license plate or working lights. Authorities have slapped Jones and his associate with a felony charge of unlawful conveyance of fuel.
Sheriff Judd says that Jones had been warned about the consequences of his actions. "We told him clearly if you violate the law, we will arrest you and put you in jail and he did and we did," he said. "We couldn't allow that container to continue down the road with that flammable liquid in that container," Judd added.
Jones first gained attention in 2010 when he planned to burn a Koran on a previous anniversary of 9/11. He eventually called it off, after the threat sparked violence in the Middle East.
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