US pastor gets 100,000-pound security bill

More than 200 police officers were on duty at the church in Florida where 58-year-old Terry Jones planned a burning of the holy book of Islam. The huge security operation was put into place even though the pastor had called off the protest, which was condemned by US President Barack Obama.

The police bill in Gainesville comes to more than 50,000 pounds and the Sheriff's office spent a similar amount after putting almost all its officers on duty, the 'Daily Express' reported.
But Jones, and members of his Dove World Outreach Centre who planned to throw 200 copies of the Islamic book on a bonfire on the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the US, has said he will not pay the police bill.

"If we had known this in advance, then we would have refused to have security," he was quoted as saying.

However, the event, which sparked an international crisis, was cancelled after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called Jones and told him soldiers in Afghanistan would be put at greater risk by the stunt.

With 48 hours until the planned burning, Jones scrapped the event saying he had secured a promise from the backers of a mosque at Ground Zero that it would be moved to a new site.
He flew to New York for talks with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is behind the project, but he was snubbed.

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