From last week: Restaurant Blast Suspect a Muslim Convert

A man arrested after a blast rattled the southwest English city of Exeter on Thursday is a vulnerable young Muslim convert with a history of mental illness, police said.

Police said 22-year-old Nicky Reilly was seen entering a bathroom of a crowded restaurant shortly before it was rocked by a small explosion. The incident prompted the evacuation of a large part of Exeter’s city center, but Reilly - who was seriously injured in the face - was the only one wounded and is being treated in a hospital under police guard.

An additional explosive was later found in the vicinity of the restaurant and defused by a bomb disposal team.

“Our investigation so far indicates that Reilly, who has a history of mental illness, has adopted the Islamic faith,” Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville told reporters.

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

Terrorism-related arrests have become regular in Britain since the Sept. 11 attacks and the July 2005 suicide attacks in London that killed 52 commuters. British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said last month that authorities were monitoring 2,000 suspects and 30 active plots, and that the threat was growing.