UK Police: Restaurant bomber was 'radicalized'
A man arrested for causing an explosion in a British restaurant Thursday is a recent Islamic convert who had been 'radicalized', police say, reported CNN.
The incident happened in Exeter, a city in southwestern England, just before 1200 GMT Thursday.
The packed city center was evacuated after the man attempted to detonate a bomb at the Giraffe restaurant, a chain of eateries popular with families.
Police took the unusual step of naming the man as Nicky Reilly, 22, who is believed to have a history of mental illness.
Tony Melville, the deputy chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police told reporters at a press conference at the scene Thursday: "Our investigations so far indicate Reilly, who has a history of mental illness, had adopted the Islamic faith," the UK's Press Association reported.
"We believe, despite his weak and vulnerable state, he was preyed upon, radicalized and taken advantage of," he said.
British authorities rarely name suspects before they are charged, but police said Reilly had been manipulated and appealed for help tracking his movements, PA reported.
Reilly was arrested by police at the scene of the explosion, and suffered cuts to his eye and facial injuries after a device on him exploded.
Another CCTV footage taken from a nearby camera appears to show the man emerging from the restaurant with blood pouring down his face, according to PA.
Another device found in the vicinity of the restaurant did not explode, police say.
Devon and Cornwall police say they are awaiting medical clearance to begin interviewing the man, who is under police guard in hospital.
Officers Friday searched his home in the city of Plymouth, also in south west England.
No-one else was injured in the blast, although 15 people were working in the restaurant at the time.
Witnesses said Reilly was seen entering the restaurant's toilets shortly before the blast but the explosion caused little damage.
In February, two mentally disabled women were sent into busy Baghdad markets, where they were blown up by remote control, an Iraqi government official said.