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Religious Targets: Special Report On The Man Behind... - KOAM TV 7

Religious Targets: Special Report On The Man Behind The Plot To Bomb 48 Churches In Miami

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Family members of the man accused of attempting to bomb 48 churches in Miami, Oklahoma last October say a religious cult is behind the plot. We'll break down the allegation and take a deeper look inside the case in this special report by KOAM Reporter Liz Holliday. 

Part One of Religious Targets: Allegations Of Ties To A Cult:

It's been over a year since a man was arrested for a plot to burn all churches in Miami, Oklahoma, but family members of the man accused--Gregory Weiler-- say he did not think of the idea on his own. They claim a "religious cult" based in Liberty, Missouri is really to blame. 

It was the crime that made national headlines last October, when a man was caught red handed with 52 Molotov cocktails and a map marking out 48 churches in Miami, Oklahoma. But family members of Gregory Weiler ask if he is the only one responsible. 

"This was a combination of everything that's ever f****** happened to me in my life,  and everything just building up to the I guess boiling point."

This is a taped phone conversation of Gregory Weiler recounting his plan to burn 48 churches in Miami, Oklahoma to Doug Perry, the leader of a religious group called the Fellowship Of The Martyrs. 

"I've been a little upset recently, especially over this past winter. I haven't been that angry in a long time," Weiler said.

Weiler spent one and a half years living with the FOTM in a basement in Liberty, Missouri. The group which houses homeless shelters and food pantries is no stranger to controversy.

"When you call something the Fellowship Of The Martyrs, people think you're going to strap a bomb to your chest and blow other people up,  but the Muslims didn't invent martyrdom, the Christians did," Founder of FOTM Doug Perry said.

According to Perry, Weiler was working temporarily in Houston for a roofing company and was making his way back to Liberty when at a gas stop in Miami, he decided to stay. Which is when his plot to target churches started to come together.

"You've got a gentlemen that had enough time in two days to put together 50 devices…it's one of those what if?," said Miami Police Detective Jeff Frazier.
 
Frazier is one of the Miami Police Detectives who actually entered Weiler's hotel room last October after hotel employees found 52 Molotov cocktails in the dumpster outside of the Legacy Inn Weiler was staying. Police later found journals and a torn map detailing 48 churches in the Miami area with times written on it.

"I believe he was aiming for every church he could locate," Frazier said.

But family members of Gregory Weiler say he didn't act alone, and they blame youtube teachings of Doug Perry for the attempted bombing plots in Miami. They even took Perry on the Doctor Phil show to confront the leader back in May.

"Doug compares an analogy of air crafts carries to churches, suggest bombing air craft carriers would quickly change it's course and make us believe he is referring to the bombing of churches," Weiler's family said in a statement to Doctor Phil.

Something Perry denies. 

"That explosion is revival, not blowing up buildings, that's getting people, to realize, maybe God didn't want me to buy a big screen TV, maybe I was supposed to feed the homeless," Perry said.
 
Perry says Weiler is a troubled soul and that the FOTM was nothing, but a positive influence on the 26 year old. Perry says his teachings do not include violence, but that Weiler's beliefs started to stray from the rest.

"One of the accusations is that we put him up to this, ok first of all we never hinted at any such a thing, don't believe in any violence at all, didn't pay his way, didn't tell him to get off in Miami, Oklahoma or anything else," Perry said.

Weiler's family disagrees.

"...To a vulnerable mentally ill Greg this could come off as a chance to prove himself, as a follower of Doug's teachings. And a person of Greg's state of mind, he can easily take this literally," the family continued in the statement.
  
Perry agrees that Weiler is mentally ill and doesn't seem ok based on phone conversations he's had with Weiler since his arrest.

"They are allowing Jesus Christ to talk more than they are allowing me to talk," Weiler said in his taped phone conversation with Perry. 

But Perry says Weiler is like a son to him, and will continue to be there to support what he calls a troubled kid needing a steady source of love and support.
 
"I'll take him right now, I'll take him right now. And I'll stand with him, and I'll believe in him, and I'll pour out what ever I have to do to see him healed," Perry said. 

Part Two Of Religious Targets: Looking Deeper Into The Case: 

In part One of our Special Report, we took you inside the Fellowship Of The Martyrs, a religious group with ties to the man who attempted to bomb 48 churches in Miami, Oklahoma last October. 

Now we take you back inside the case to investigate whether Gregory Weiler had already abandoned his church bombing plot long before police came knocking on his hotel door.

Raymond Frizzelle is the lead pastor of 1st Assembly Church in Miami, Oklahoma, his church sits across the street from the Legacy Inn, where Gregory Weiler allegedly constructed a plot to bomb 48 churches here last October.
 
"People were a little more cautious looking around, and just concerned, very grateful for our police department who had already discovered the plot," recalled Frizzelle of the Sunday after Weiler's arrest.

But according to Weiler's pastor Doug Perry, that's not really the whole story, and Perry says Weiler had abandoned his drugged fueled plan to bomb the churches of Miami long before Miami P. D. came knocking on his hotel door.
 
"I've talked to Greg, and I read the media reports, that were hyped and the fact is they found empty beer bottles, empty gas can, and torn up plans," Perry said.

Police confirm the map that contained 48 churches in the Miami area was ripped up when they entered Room 127, but they say it's unclear exactly what time Weiler ripped up that map.
 
"Some of it was torn. And it had to be literally pieced back together, but we..I do not know if that happened prior to us knocking on the door, or during us knocking on the door," said Miami Police Detective Jeff Frazier.

Police say they were first tipped off to Weiler's plot thanks to two then hotel employees who found the 52 empty Molotov cocktail bottles in a camouflage duffle bag in the dumpster. We interviewed them last October. 

"I pulled it out and felt it was kind of heavy and I hear bottles rattling in it and I opened it up and there was a bunch of shredded material and grabbed one of the bottles and it had gray tape on it so I just left it laying went back inside and called the police," Former Legacy Inn employee Ralph Smith told us last October.

From there the employees went to Weiler's room to do a 'routine maintenance check, which lead police to the room, according to police.

"The more that we dug into the room that's when we started piecing together bits of information about what kind of a plan he had formulated," Frazier said.

According to Fraizer police found written journals and pages of actual targets.
 
"This was a plan that was close to being put into action, and it could have been serious. You're talking about 48 churches and businesses within this town. From a gentleman who has no ties to Miami, is passing through, this would have been a very hard crime to solve, and it would have destroyed this community, because of the community relations within those churches," Frazier said.

But Perry says this is a case of a demonized kid with substance problems who concocts what Perry calls "a stupid plan with the help of some voices and whispers in his head." And the fact he had no car, shows Weiler never really thought through the plan in the first place, according to Perry. 

"It was never about killing people, it was about the building and he's going to walk around town and put all these buildings on fire and then get out of town somehow? ok that's just stupid," Perry said.

Perry says he blames media reports saying police saved the day and prevented hundreds of deaths. And in a hand written letter to Perry by Weiler he says he had no intentions of hurting anyone.

"like I said, no matter how crazy they seem, I need people to know that I'm not a terrorist in any way shape or form," Weiler wrote in a letter to Perry.

"Maybe he did get scared and put them in the dumpster, maybe he didn't. I don't know. I'm not sure anybody ever will know. Except for him," Frazier said.

And now over a year after the incident, Frizelle says the Miami church community has moved past the attempts, but whether the plan would have gone through remains a mystery. 

Weiler was originally arrested under the Oklahoma Terrorism Act. He was deemed unfit to stand trial and is currently in a mental health facility in North Carolina being evaluated. His next federal court date will take place next month. 

 

 

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