* Almost funny if it wasn’t so sad; and his adopted name was ‘Mohammed Rasheed’Â
* The white Muslim convert arrested after a bomb was detonated in a restaurant in Exeter has been named as 22-year-old Nicky Reilly. “He was brainwashed”
* Now who would have done a thing like that?
Mr Reilly had a history of mental illness and had been “preyed upon” by “radical” Muslims in the area, police officers said.
“Our investigations so far indicate Reilly, who has a history of mental illness, had adopted the Islamic faith”
* Does that mean Â if you have a history of mental illness you are more likely to adopt the ‘Isamic faith?’
They have established that he travelled between Plymouth and Exeter by bus before the explosion at the Giraffe restaurant at the Princesshay shopping centre at 12.50pm.
Two bombs were found and Reilly was the only person injured. He suffered “serious facial injuries” although they were not said to be life-threatening.
He was later arrested before armed police searched an address in King Street, Plymouth, which is linked to Reilly.
The premises was still being searched at 9.40pm.
Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville last night launched a plea for information on Mr Reilly’s movements and took the unusual step of releasing a picture to assist the investigation.
He said: “Our investigation so far indicates Reilly, who has a history of mental illnesss had adopted the Islamic faith.
“We believe despite his weak and vulnerable illness he was preyed upon, radicalised, and taken advantage of.
“Bomb disposal experts attended the scene and made safe two explosive devices. These are being forensically examined.”
Reilly was last night under police guard and thought to be undergoing treatment at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.
Last night neighbours of Mr Reilly said that he changed his name last year through deed poll to Mohammed Rasheed and described him as “naive and easily led”.
Daniel Turner, 20, a neighbour, said that Mr Reilly’s nickname is the “Big Friendly Giant” but that he had been “brainwashed”.
Mr Turner said: “He is mentally ill and he probably has the mental age of a 10-year-old.
“He changed his name to Mohammed Rasheed about a year ago at a registry office.
“He was brainwashed into becoming a Muslim by local men. He can’t think for himself.
“Nicky is schizophrenic. We call him the BFG but he obviously met up with the wrong people.”
Mr Reilly lives with his mother Kim and has two brothers Luke, 20, and Elliott, 10.
Bradley Kinsman, 22, a friend of the Reilly family, said: “Nicky used to come out and play with us but in the last year he has been really antisocial.
“He is a very lonely guy and that is because of his mental illness. He has a big lurcher dog called Gypsy who he adores.
“Someone has seen he is vulnerable and naive and have ordered him to do these things.
* Well, then it would be high time for the cops to go after the guys who did this to the poor fella…
“There is no way he would be capable of doing something like that by himself.
“Sometimes we walk underneath his window and we can hear the sound of him praying. He hasn’t really spoken to us in two years.”
Nicky lives in a large block of flats in a poor area near the centre of Plymouth.
Bradley added: “His mum is a really nice woman. I feel so sorry for her. I don’t think she even knew it had come this far.
“No-one around here did. Sometimes people from the Muslim community would knock at his door but his mum wouldn’t let them in.”
Nicky Reilly’s brother Luke, 20, was jailed for six years in February after pleading guilty to beating Polish kitchen worker Wojciech Giedzilin unconscious in a “brutal and sustained attack”.
During his hearing at Plymouth Crown Court Reilly’s defence lawyer said he was of “limited intelligence,” and had a troubled upbringing.
The court also heard that he had a cannabis habit and would regularly steal to fund it.