Muslim Convert Held After Nail Bomb Blast in U.K. Restaurant

The person being held in this crime is a Muslim convert, but he has a history of mental health issues, which is most likely the cause that lead him to do this.
His mental illness, coupled with some of the inflammatory rhetoric he may have heard at mosque, could have contributed to his belief that committing this crime was the correct thing to do.

A Muslim convert with a history of mental illness was being held under armed guard tonight after he apparently detonated a nail bomb in a family restaurant.

Nicky Reilly, 22, who suffered serious facial injuries in the blast, is thought to have carried out the alleged attack after being ‘preyed upon and radicalised’ by Islamic extremists.

Police and bomb disposal teams were called in after diners at the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter city centre heard three blasts go off in a toilet as they were having lunch.

Deputy chief constable Tony Melville, speaking just yards from the restaurant, said: “Witnesses described how a male entered a toilet in the restaurant shortly before an explosion was heard.”

He said police and other emergency services went to the scene and the man was arrested in connection with the explosion.

Mr Melville said: “This male, who we now know is called Nicky Reilly, suffered serious facial injuries but these are not life threatening.

“He is currently in police custody undergoing treatment at a hospital.”

Bomb disposal experts made safe two explosive devices which are now being forensically examined, said Mr Melville.

“After the arrest, police searched an address in King Street, Plymouth, linked to Reilly using armed officers from the tactical aid group.”

Mr Melville said the premises were still being searched.

He said: “Our investigations so far indicate Reilly, who has a history of mental illness, had adopted the Islamic faith.

“We believe, despite his weak and vulnerable state, he was preyed upon, radicalised and taken advantage of.”

Mr Melville said the police knew Reilly travelled between Plymouth and Exeter today using the bus service.

He said the police were releasing his photograph because they wanted anyone who saw him today, or could help the police track his movements over recent weeks, to contact them.

Earlier, witnesses said officers had to break down the cubicle door because the 22-year-old refused to come out.

When he emerged, wearing jeans and a dark t-shirt, blood was running down his face and all over his clothes.

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