Strangeways Prison
Reilly died at HMP Manchester AFP/Getty

A man who was jailed for life after attempting to set off a nail bomb in an Exeter restaurant in 2008 has died in prison.

Nicky Reilly, 30, who had learning difficulties and was diagnosed with Asperger's, had carried three homemade devices into Giraffe restaurant, where it prematurely exploded in the restroom, with Reilly the only one injured.

The then 22-year-old man had carried the three devices, made from glass bottles, from his home in Plymouth to the restaurant in Exeter 45 minutes away.

Reilly, who changed his name to Mohammad Saeed-Alim as part of his conversion to Islam, was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison after admitting to charges of attempted murder and preparing an act of terrorism.

A Prison Service spokeswoman told the Press Association: "HMP Manchester prisoner Mohamed Saeed-Alim died in custody on Wednesday October 19.

"As with all deaths in custody there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."

Reilly's mother, Kim, has confirmed his death but told the BBC she is too upset to comment further.

At the time of his arrest, his family told the press they believed he had been targeted by online extremists, with police also suggesting he could have been manipulated by fundamentalists.

It is not yet known how Reilly died, with an investigation into his death due to be carried out.