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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Foiled by toilet lock: How Muslim convert set off bombs in error because he couldn't open door

Daily Mail Reporter, Exeter, England, 16th October 2008--

A British Muslim convert with a mental age of ten was unable to blow up a restaurant because he'd locked himself in a toilet.

Nicky Reilly, 22, had gone into the cubicle of an Exeter eaterie to assemble the nailbombs from chemicals in bottles. He then planned to rush among the 50 diners - many of them children - and detonate the devices.

However, he found he couldn't unfasten the lock and then one of the bombs exploded, setting the others he was holding off.

Reilly, who was groomed over the internet by extremists into becoming a suicide bomber, was arrested when he staggered outside with serious facial injuries.

Failed attack: Reilly admitted attempted murder after planning to blow up a family restaurant in Exeter

Prosecutor Stuart Baker said: 'He was unable to open the lock of the cubicle door and come out, by which time the first device had already exploded.'

Anti-terror investigators believe Pakistani radicals targeted Reilly because of his history of mental illness.

A plot was hatched involving the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter, where 50 diners, many with their children, were enjoying the half-term break on May 22 this year.

Yesterday, Reilly, who has changed his name to Mohammad Abdul-Aziz Rashid Saeed-Alim, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to preparing a terrorist attack and attempted murder.

After the attack police searching his home in Plymouth found a suicide note in which he quoted Osama Bin Laden and evidence that other possible targets had been a police station and a shopping centre.

A large number of extremist websites and a video titled ‘homemade bombs’ were found on his computer.

He had gone online to find out how to make bombs and discuss targets with chatroom contacts in Pakistan.

A CCTV image of Muslim convert Nicky Reilly entering the Giraffe restaurant
in Exeter where he launched a failed suicide bomb attack

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