April 2, 2011 — -- Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who oversaw the burning of a Koran last month, said he did not feel responsible for the violent protest at a United Nations compound in Afghanistan today that left at least 11 dead. Instead, he said the violence proved his point.
Read the Full Transcript of "Nightline's" Interview with Terry Jones
"We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element," Jones said. "I think [today's attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam."
As for the 11 dead, which included seven U.N. staffers and guards, Jones told "Nightline" anchor Bill Weir, "We do not feel responsible, no."
The deaths followed a protest march in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif today against the Koran burning. Jones supervised while another pastor, Wayne Sapp, soaked the Koran in kerosene and burned it.
"We decided to put the Koran on trail," he told Weir. "I was the judge but I did not determine the verdict. I was just a type of referee so that people got their time to defend or condemn the Koran."
Jones said that a "jury" of people from all over Florida debated the radicalism of Islam, and the "Koran was found guilty."
"If the Koran was found guilty then there were four forms of punishment: burning, shredding, grounding, a firing squad," he said. "The one that the people chose was burning. That is why the Koran was burned after it was found guilty."
Police told ABC News the protest in Afghanistan started peacefully but took a violent turn after a radical leader told those gathered that multiple Korans had been burned. People angrily marched on the nearby U.N. compound, despite police who fired AK-47s into the air in hopes of subduing them.
Police eventually turned their weapons on the protesters, killing at least four, police said, before they were overtaken and had their guns stolen. Using the police weapons, the protestors killed four U.N. guards from Nepal and then three foreign workers in the U.N. building -- a Norwegian, a Romanian and a Swede. An Afghan official said one man has been arrested for allegedly masterminding the attack along with 19 others, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Despite an onslaught of attention Jones got when he initially made his threat to burn the Muslim holy book in September 2010 -- including a personal plea from President Barack Obama -- the actual burning of the Koran last month went relatively unnoticed in western media.
President Obama condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" in a statement.
"The brave men and women of the United Nations, including the Afghan staff, undertake their work in support of the Afghan people," Obama said. "Their work is essential to building a stronger Afghanistan for the benefit of all its citizens. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to reject violence and resolve differences through dialogue."
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined Obama in his condemnation of the attack today.
"This was an outrageous and cowardly attack against U.N. staff, which cannot be justified under any circumstances and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms," Ki-moon said from Kenya, where the U.N said he is making an official visit.
Terry Jones Canceled Previous Burning in New York
Jones initially cancelled his plans for the book burning on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. The stunt, according to Jones, was a protest for the Muslim-backed community center that was to be built near the site of the September 11 attacks in New York.
During that initial incident, Gainesville's mayor told reporters Jones does not speak for the community.
"He's a really fringy character," said Pegeen Hanrahan, a two-term mayor who left office in May. "For every one person in Gainesville who thinks this is a good idea there are a thousand who just think it's ridiculous."
"He's a person who has a congregation that's exceedingly small, maybe 30 or 40 people -- 50 on a good day," Jacki Levine, managing editor of the Gainesville Sun newspaper, said in September. "He is not at all reflective of community he finds himself in."
ABC News' Lauren Effron contributed to this report.