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Controversial Pastor Terry Jones arrested before he could burn Qurans

Polk County Sheriff's deputies escort Terry Jones to a waiting patrol car in Lakeland, Fla., on Wednesday. Brian Blanco / EPA

The controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones was arrested Wednesday in Polk County, Fla., before he could burn almost 3,000 Qurans.  

The county's Board of County Commissioners had denied on Tuesday Jones's request for a permit to burn 3,000 Qurans — the holy book of Islam — in a local park to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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Jones was arrested on felony charges after a traffic stop, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

According to NBC Miami, Jones was riding in a pickup truck with kerosene-soaked Qurans inside the truck bed. Additional bottles of kerosene were found in the truck bed. 

He faces charges of unlawfully transporting fuel and openly carrying a firearm, NBC Miami reported

Jones's website said he wanted to burn 2,998 Qurans at 5 p.m. "in memory of the 2,998 victims of Islamic jihad who were murdered on September 11th, 2001."

Jones, 61, is a pastor of Dove World Outreach Center. He was arrested along with another pastor, Marvin Wayne Sapp, Jr.

His church has famously staged Quran burnings in the past, the move at one point earning Jones the condemnation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.