Pastor Terry Jones Receives Death Threats After Koran Burning

Florida pastor says he won't back down after Afghan deaths.

April 4, 2011, 12:54 AM

April 4, 2011— -- Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who supervised the burning of the Koran last month, said he's not backing down after receiving death threats.

Jones said he feels no responsibility for the violence sparked by his church's action, including the violent protest at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan Saturday that left at least 11 people dead - and 20 killed in weekend violence.

Jones said his beliefs are more important - even at expense of American soldiers.

"Perhaps in the long run, we may save hundreds or thousands," Jones said.

When asked what would he say to the mother of American soldier about his statement, he said, "We don't take it lightly...we can't let it eat us up."

Read the Full Transcript of "Nightline's" Interview with Terry Jones

Top U.S. officials including General David Petreaus and Mark Sedwill, NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan condemned the burning saying they "hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Koran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people."

Of Saturday's violence, Jones said it proved his point.

"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."

While Jones received an onslaught of attention when he initially threated to burn the Koran in Sept. 2010 -- the actual burning of the Koran last month went relatively unnoticed in western media.

Jones said he decided to put the Koran on trial.

"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.

Police told ABC News the protest Saturday in Afghanistan started peacefully but turned violent 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 turned their weapons on the protestors, killing at least four, police said, before they were overtaken and had their guns stolen.

The protestors killed four U.N. guards from Nepal and then three foreign workers in the U.N. building using police weapons.

Death Threats Roll In

While Jones does not plan on any future Koran burnings, the death threats are streaming in.

"Right now we have a little over 300 threats, today 10 threats have come in," Jones said.

Some threats are so specific that they name date time and place.

The FBI said Hezbollah has a $2.4 million bounty on his head.

But Jones and his assistant Wayne Sapp, the man who actually soaked the Koran in kerosene and burned it, said they're not afraid and are willing to die for their beliefs.

"We see growth around the world – we feel very strongly for U.S. - United States, U.N. to stand up and do something…Muslim countries must open doors to freedom in," Jones said.

ABC News' Lauren Effron and the Associated Press contributed to this report.