Florida Pastor Terry Jones was arrested on his way to burning 2,998 copies of the Muslim holy book to mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Jones was arrested Wednesday as he drove a pickup truck towing a large grill containing thousands of kerosene-soaked Korans, the Associated Press reported. He said he was on his way to a park to light the books on fire, one for each victim of the terror attacks.
Sheriff’s deputies in Polk County arrested Jones, 61, and associate pastor Marvin Sapp Jr., 44, each on a charge of unlawfully transporting fuel, according to the AP, and Jones for misdemeanor unlawful open carry of a firearm. Sapp faces a charge for not having valid registration for the trailer.
Jones has gained worldwide attention for his repeated Koran-burning activities. He first announced plans to burn hundreds of copies of the book on the 9/11 anniversary in 2010, despite condemnation from President Barack Obama, the Vatican, then-top U.S. Afghanistan commander Gen. David Petraeus and others. While he ultimately canceled that event — though did burn one book, sparking deadly riots in Afghanistan — he held a Koran burning last year to protest the imprisonment of a Christian pastor in Iran.
Jones told TheBlaze in April that he hoped to collect Korans from around the world to burn this year.
“For one thing, it’s going to take a lot of preparation to get together 2,998 Korans,” Jones said. “We’re hoping to gather them from around the states, around the world.”