Pastor Jones during his press conference
The Rev. Terry Jones of the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center, standing with a Florida Muslim leader, also said the imam who planned a mosque and Islamic center near ground zero in New York has agreed to move it to another location. But the imam who appeared with him said that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in New York agreed to speak with Jones about possibly moving the center.
A spokesman from Soho Properties told CNN producer Vivienne Foley that "the Muslim community center called Park51 in lower Manhattan is not being moved."
Jones, meanwhile, said he will travel to New York on Saturday to meet with Rauf.
The pastor appeared at an afternoon press conference with Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, who said he will make the trip with Jones.
"I think the location of the mosque next to the ground zero location is unnecessary," Musri said.
Jones told reporters that he took a phone call from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who "was very gracious and encouraged us not to continue." That conversation could not be confirmed.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump has offered to buy the lower Manhattan site where the Muslim group plans to build an Islamic community center for 25 percent more than the current owners paid for it.
Trump made the offer Thursday in a letter to Hisham Elzanaty, an investor in the Islamic center site.
"I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse," he wrote.
Earlier Thursday, President Barack Obama called the plan by Jones to burn the Qurans on Saturday a "recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda."
"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan" as a result of the burning, 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 previously had 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.
Interpol on Thursday issued a global alert to its 188 member countries, warning of a "strong likelihood" of violent attacks if the Quran burning proceeded.
The FBI visited Jones at the Dove Center on Thursday, according to Jeffrey Westcott, special agent in charge of the Jacksonville, Florida, bureau. The FBI also visited him a few weeks ago, he said, but would not say what was discussed.
Earlier Thurday, discussions were taking place within the Obama administration about the possibility of intervening, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
Earlier this week, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, warned that the plan "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.
Jones had rejected the pleas, saying his message targets radical Islamists. "The general needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them," Jones said on CNN's "AC360." "We are burning the book. We are not killing someone. We are not murdering people."
Meanwhile, two websites associated with Jones and his church were down Thursday.
Rackspace Hosting took down the two sites because the church "violated the hate speech provision of our acceptable use policy," said spokesman Dan Goodgame.
The company investigated a complaint in the past couple days and made the determination after reviewing both sites, said Goodgame, adding that Rackspace was under no pressure to act.
"This is not a constitutional issue. This is a contract issue," he said.
Rackspace gave Jones until midnight Wednesday to migrate content and find another host. Goodgame said he did not know how long Rackspace had hosted the websites, but he said it did not handle design or content.
"We have about 100,000 customers," Goodgame said. "We don't even know what all the sites are."
Jones and Dove World had agreed to terms on the Rackspace Cloud service, Goodgame said. The policy dictates the suspension or termination of service for offensive content, including material that is "excessively violent, incites violence, threatens violence or contains harassing content or hate speech."
"We would have taken the same position if it was hate speech against Christians or other groups," he added.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was one of the few public officials who had defended Jones' right to go ahead with the burning, even as he condemned the idea as "distasteful."
"The First Amendment protects everybody, and you can't say that we are going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement," Bloomberg said, citing the section of the Constitution that promises freedom of speech.
A Christian congregation in Germany on Thursday distanced itself from Jones, its founder and former pastor. Stephan Baar, one of the leaders of the Christian Community of Cologne, said the congregation split with Jones in 2008 over differences in the way the church was run.
The U.S. State Department issued a global travel alert because of the potential for anti-American demonstrations if the Quran burning was carried out.