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Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Before Planned Quran Burning

Posted: September 11, 2013

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Police say the Florida pastor was carrying almost 3,000 kerosene-soaked Qurans. He was arrested for illegally transporting fuel and illegally carrying a firearm.

Terry Jones

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center speaks to the media, accompanied by Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010, Gainesville, Fla. Phil Sandlin

The infamous Florida pastor, Terry Jones, was arrested in Mulberry, Fla., today, right before he planned to burn 2,998 Qurans on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Tampa Tribune reports:

"When he and another pastor were pulled over by Polk County sheriff's deputies near the small town of Mulberry, their pickup bed was full of kerosene-soaked Qurans - and they were towing a large, barbeque-style grill behind the truck.

"The arrest happened shortly before 5 p.m., when Jones was scheduled to burn the Quarans - one for every victim of the terrorist attacks - at a public park just outside Mulberry."

The Polk County Ledger reports that county officials had previously denied a permit for the event. The paper reports that in a press conference Sheriff Grady Judd said Jones had been stopped because his trailer did not have a license plate and he has been charged with "unlawful conveyance of fuel and unlawful carry of a firearm."

Essentially, Judd said, Jones was driving a "bomb" down the road.

"We couldn't allow that vehicle to continue down that road," Judd is quoted by the paper as saying.

Of course, this is not the first time Jones has tried to burn a Quran. Back in 2010, Jones received a call from then Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking to stop a planned burning, because doing so would put U.S. soldiers at risk around the world. Jones did go through with a burning in April of 2012 and supervised a burning in 2011.

The AP adds:

"Jones is the pastor of a small evangelical Christian church. His congregation burned a Koran in March 2011, and last year he promoted an anti-Muslim film.

"His actions have sparked violence in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, earlier this week had urged him not to go through with Wednesday's event."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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