Anti-Islamic US pastor Terry Jones opens Florida french-fry stand

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An anti-Islamic American pastor who features on the same Al-Qaeda hit list as the slain editor-in-chief of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine has opened a french-fry stand in a Florida mall.

Terry Jones, 63, garnered international attention and hundreds of death threats following his 2013 arrest for planning to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

That and the actual burning of a copy of the Islamic holy book in 2011, which sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan, earned Jones a No. 2 spot on an Al-Qaeda hit list.

The same list features Stephane Charbonnier, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo who was slain as two Islamist gunmen stormed the publication's Paris office on January 7 and massacred 12 people.

Far from keeping a low profile, Jones now runs Fry Guys Gourmet Fries in the city of Bradenton about 75 kilometers south of Tampa.

He has spoken to several media outlets in recent days, and carries a 9mm pistol on his ankle, according to the Washington Post.

Jones has a US$2.2-million (S$2.75 million) bounty on his head from the Islamist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Post reported.

"We're not fearful, and we're not going to run and hide," Jones told the Bradenton Herald.

"If they (terrorists) come, we're going to try to get them before they get us." Jones said business had improved after the Herald reported he was at the mall.

In April 2011, about a dozen people were killed in Afghanistan and many more injured during days of unrest unleashed by Jones's burning of a Quran.