Florida officials have arrested radical anti-Islam preacher Terry Jones as he was on his way to a Sept. 11 event where he planned to burn 2,998 Korans, according to local news reports Wednesday.
Jones is best known for stoking Muslim anger by publicly desecrating the religion’s holy book, sometimes with international consequences.
This time law enforcement officials intervened before Jones could carry out his plans for a ceremonial Sept. 11 burning.
Jones had planned to set alight 2,998 Korans at a Polk County park for the 12-year anniversary, with each Koran “representing one of the victims, every person who was murdered by Islam,” according to one of his news releases -- a casualty total that perhaps accidentally included the 19 hijackers.
County officials had reportedly denied Jones’ permit application to use the Loyce E. Harpe Park near Mulberry for the burning.
Before the event, which Jones had planned to attend anyway, the Gainesville-based preacher was reportedly arrested for driving with kerosene in a barbecue grill, officials told The Ledger, a Polk County newspaper. A local ABC affiliate reported that Jones had Korans inside the grill.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Jones had previously called off a burning of 200 Korans in 2010 after federal officials warned him that the burning could put U.S. troops at risk and boost recruitment for Al Qaeda.
The Ledger tweeted a photo of Jones getting arrested, which is shown below.
Terry Jones is arrested on his way to burn 3,000 kerosene-soaked Qurans in Mulberry. https://t.co/gfoap7ytjw pic.twitter.com/VKBfFH06cx— The Ledger (@theledger) September 11, 2013