The Florida pastor who had planned to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday has called it off.
The Rev. Terry Jones of the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center made the announcement Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, President Obama said Jones' plan, which had triggered worldwide controversy, would be a "recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda."
"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan" as a result of the proposal by Jones, Obama said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities."
Jones had previously said he would proceed with the plan Saturday -- the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- despite increased pressure to abandon the proposal and warnings that going ahead could endanger U.S. troops and Americans worldwide.
There were several developments prior to Jones' cancellation announcement:
-- Local governments said they were going to bill Jones for the extra cost of security for Saturday's event.
-- Interpol on Thursday issued a global alert to its 188 member countries, warning of a "strong likelihood" of violent attacks if the Quran burning proceeds.
-- An armed Christian organization, which withdrew its support for the Quran-burning event last month, said the administration "needs to stay out of this" and pledged to defend the Dove Center's right to hold the event, despite its disagreement.
-- The FBI warned local law enforcement that the plan, along with other recent controversies involving the American Muslim community, could lead to hate crimes and could encourage extremist rhetoric, although a federal law enforcement official said there was no credible information that attacks were planned.
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