Terry Jones Defies Administration, Plans to Burn Korans Anyway


"While the FBI has no information to indicate a specific attack has been planned against the United States or US assets in response to the 'International Burn a Koran Day' event, the FBI assesses with high confidence that, as with past incidents perceived as acts of desecration against Islam, extremist actors will continue to threaten or attempt to harm the leaders, organizers, or attendees the event."

Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Jones' "International Burn a Koran Day" "disgraceful."

"As you can imagine we have received very much pressure in the direction of cancelling the event," Jones told reporters today outside his Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville.

But her comments, as well those of Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Gen. David Petreaus and the White House did little to sway the preacher.

"We're a country of what, 310 million plus right now? And, I mean, it's regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Fla., with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan and get, you know, the world's attention," Clinton said.

Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, warned that Jones' plan would "endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort here."

'100 Percent Behind Us'

Jones said despite the general's concerns, he believed setting the books on fire would be beneficial and was supported by U.S. servicemen.

"Just yesterday we got a phone call from a retired special forces Green Beret... it was his opinion that the people that are on the field, the special forces, he told us are 100 percent behind us," Jones said.

Jones then told a rambling story about Christian churches and hospitals being destroyed by Muslims during the 1990s war in the Balkans.

Local police and the FBI are keeping an eye on the event, planning road closures and a no-fly zone, officials said.

Several politicians and administration officials have echoed Petreaus's concerns that the bonfire of Korans could make things more dangerous for U.S. soldiers.

"Any type of activity like that that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern to this administration," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday.

Tension of "Burn a Koran Day" Heats Up

Holder and Clinton also condemned the planned bonfire.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has supported plans for a controversial Islamic center to be built near Ground Zero, criticized Jones' plans, but defended his right to burn the books on "Good Morning America."

As far as Jones is concerned, he's just supplying the kindling -- several hundred copies of the Koran, Islam's holiest book.

He said the spark was ignited nine years ago when Muslim terrorists flew U.S. jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"International Burn a Koran Day" has become a flashpoint. What was seen for weeks as a strange front in the culture wars, became a front in America's real war when Petraeus weighed in to say he believed the display would be dangerous to U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan.

Despite weeks of complaints -- and also, he claims, several death threats -- Jones has shown no signs of relenting.

When ABC News' "Nightline" caught up with the controversial preacher, who always keeps a pistol close at hand, he said he and his flock would consider Petraeus' advice and continue to pray about whether to go ahead with the book burning.

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