Skip to comments.Exeter explosion: Autistic bomb suspect 'radicalised by gang'
Posted on 05/23/2008 2:38:19 PM PDT by knighthawk
The man detained over a suspected suicide bomb attack in Exeter was an autistic 22-year-old allegedly radicalised by a gang of suspected Muslim radicals who were being monitored by police and MI5, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Investigating officers said that Nicky Reilly received a text message of "encouragement" hours before the nailbomb attack in a family restaurant.
Police have made the first arrests as the net closed in on the suspected radicals alleged to have groomed the bomber.
Sources close to the investigation said that the alleged corruption of a vulnerable young man - who suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, had a history of self harm and had attempted suicide several times - was a "new horrific low" for Muslim extremism in Britain.
Detectives believe Mr Reilly planned to commit suicide and allegedly had help in constructing three "rudimentary but viable" bombs that had never been seen in Britain before. They were constructed from sodium hydroxide, aluminium foil strips and an essential oil, combined with kerosene.
It was confirmed that there were three devices in a bag packed with nails. One was partially detonated in the toilets of a restaurant in the Princesshay centre. The other two failed to go off.
"It could be set off by shaking the mixture but we are still not sure if the device was being primed or it was actually planned to be set it off in the toilets, in the belief it would blow out the whole restaurant" the source added.
"If it had gone up it would certainly have caused a huge fireball and the idea that this was happening in a family restaurant packed with children is awful."
Special Branch officers were monitoring a group of alleged radicals in Plymouth, where Mr Reilly lives with his mother. Early investigations suggest comparisons with an al-Qaeda "inspired" attack but not one necessarily directed by a senior figure.
The source said: "We were aware of this group and of Mr Reilly himself but he was right on the fringes of a group that did not appear to be planning any attacks.
"At the moment we are looking at 200 separate groups and this was just one of those. We were observing them at a local level but had no detailed surveillance."
A friend of Mr Reilly said he suffered from Asperger's - a form of autism - and tried to commit suicide after problems with his girlfriend in his late teens . He was sectioned, and after being released from a mental hospital he was allegedly groomed by a group of radicals.
Locals said Mr Reilly changed his name to Mohammed Rasheed last year and claimed he was "brainwashed" by men, who he would meet at a local internet cafe, kebab shop and outside a fish and chip shop.
Further details of Mr Reilly's private life have also emerged. Friends claimed that he was "naive and easily lead".
Mr Reilly worshipped at the Islamic Centre in Greenbank Avenue, a mile from his home. He stood out among the congregation because he was 18 stone, 6 ft 1 inches tall and white. He had grown a beard in the past but in recent months has been clean shaven.
He became friends with Omar Siddiqui, aged 22, who is president of the Islamic Society at the university.
Plymouth has a 3,500 strong Muslim community but Mr Siddiqui said he could not believe the possibility that Mr Reilly had been radicalised in the city.
Mr Siddiqui said: "The Islamic community in Plymouth is very peaceful and we have never had any problems her at the mosque or the university."
He said of Mr Reilly: "He always struck me as being not quite well in the head but he seemed a nice guy. He was always polite and greeted me nicely. He did seem to be extremely religious after his conversion."
Overwhelming silence from the mythical “moderate” muzz.
The poor thing will probably end up on some sort of fat government pension as another of society’s victims.
Yep, that's how the script reads.
” He stood out among the congregation because he was 18 stone, 6 ft 1 inches tall and white. He had grown a beard in the past “
Are we sure this isn’t Michael Moore?
Roll em up! They are damn lucky this wasn’t a multiple casualty incident. If there had been bodies and these guys had
this cell under surveillance...oh lawdy.
This is really sick stuff ... yet it serves to dull the senses and sensibilities of the West. It lets evil slip toward normality. Just like the constant wars, bombings and all.
Yet the MSM goes ga ga only over underwear at Abu Graev. What a world.
The Muslim cowards have a long track record of wiring retarded adults in Iraq, sending them into crowded markets, and remotely detonating them via cellphones.
They should have hired the girl who blew up her rival’s and 3 neighbors’ houses in Britain recently. At least the gun control laws are working out well there.