The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

October 22, 2012

Hearing slated for man accused in plot to destroy area churches

MIAMI, Okla. — Gregory Arthur Weiler II, 23, of Illinois, who has been charged with  violating the state’s anti-terrorism law in connection with an alleged church-bombing plot in Ottawa County, will have a preliminary hearing on Monday, Dec. 3, in Ottawa County District Court.

The date of the hearing was set after Weiler appeared in court on Monday, according to a spokeswoman for Eddie Wyant, Ottawa County district attorney.

Police arrested Weiler after they discovered in his Miami motel room bomb-making materials, a recipe for making Molotov cocktails and notes about destroying 48 area churches in the county, according to an arrest affidavit. The targets were churches in Ottawa County.

Police were called Oct. 4 to the Legacy Inn & Suites motel regarding suspicious items found in a trash bin. Officers were shown a green military sailor’s bag that contained 50 brown glass bottles with duct tape and sections of cloth attached, according to the probable-cause affidavit.

The affidavit stated that a purple journal containing several entries was found on the bed in the room. An entry, numbered 20, read: “Self promote for the next four years while beginning a list of goals written out in Oklahoma having to do with destroying and removing church buildings from U.S. a tiny bit at a time — setting foundation for the years to come.”

Agents with the Tulsa and Springfield, Mo., offices of the FBI and from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted Miami police in the case.

No bond

Weiler is being held without bond at the Ottawa County Jail.

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