America

FBI Warned Quran-Burning Pastor He Could Face Revenge Hit

Islamist protest against Danish cartoonist

hide captionIslamist activists in Lahore, Pakistan demonstrate their anger at the Danish cartoonist whose controversial portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad inflamed Muslims worldwide.

ARIF ALI/AFP

When Federal Bureau of Investigation agents visited Terry Jones, the preacher whose Quran-burning plans caused world-wide outrage, the question on many minds was, what was the nature of the agents' comments to him?

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has learned that the agents just wanted to impress on Jones the kinds of physical risks he was taking on.

She wrote in an e-mail:

According to officials familiar with the situation, the FBI visited Pastor Terry Jones several times. There is no law against what he wanted to do, they told him, but they were concerned about what might happen to HIM if he went ahead with his Koran Bonfire. They talked to him about being a potential target for violence and threats and told him the story of the Danish cartoonist and other people who have had their lives changed by making this kind of bold statement. They also told him they were concerned that civil rights violations and hate crimes might grow out of what he was planning to do and they wanted him to understand that.

Makes you wonder if the agents did a little show-and-tell as well.

For instance, showing crime-scene photos is a standard practice when law-enforcement officials are trying to shock someone into seeing things their way.

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