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Plot to bomb 48 churches in Oklahoma uncovered, police say

Police said that they arrested a 23-year-old man after they discovered bomb-making materials and notes about destroying 48 area churches. NBC's Chris Jansing reports.

A 23-year-old Illinois man has been arrested after the discovery of bomb-making materials and notes about destroying 48 churches in Oklahoma, NewsOK.com reported, citing an arrest affidavit. But family members say Gregory Arthur Weiler II suffers from mental illness.

The NewsOK.com report said Weiler, 23, was arrested in Miami, Okla., and charged Friday with possession of an explosive or incendiary devise and violation of the Oklahoma anti-terrorism act, put in place after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. He was being held without bail.

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NewsOK.com reported that Miami Police Chief George Haralson said the targets were churches in Ottawa County in the far northeast corner of Oklahoma. Miami is the county seat.

According to the affidavit, police found detailed maps and torn-up notes with a recipe for Molotov cocktails and a list of 48 churches, along with details about "how many nights the congregations meet and how many people attend," NewsOK.com reported. Police also found a duffel bag containing 50 brown glass bottles, a  funnel and lighter fluid in a motel trash bin.

Weiler reportedly was arrested after the discovery of the bomb-making materials in the trash bin.

According to the Chicago Tribune, family members said Weiler had been hospitalized with mental illness several times and had suffered with addictions to heroin and alcohol. They said his mother and father committed suicide before he was 16.

Family members said Weiler had joined a religious group in Missouri about three years ago.

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