Neighbors knew terrorist suspect as toy seller at schools

The neighbours of a suspected terrorist, Yayat Cahdiyat, knew him as a nice person who hawked hair accessories and small toys at several schools in Cianjur, West Java.

Yayat allegedly set off an improvised explosive device hidden in a cooking pot in a public park in the West Java capital of Bandung on Monday before running into a subdistrict office building and attempting to burn it down. The police shot him and he died en route to the hospital.

Read also: Indonesian police in gunfight after reported explosion in Bandung city

While renting a house in Cianjur, Yayat often chatted with his landowner, Didih, 58. He rented the house for Rp 200,000 (S$21) a month. He told Didih he was fired from a factory in Bandung and then he tried various enterprises, including washing motorcycles and selling chicken noodles.

Bomb blast in Bandung

  • A still image from video shows a policeman crouching behind a tree, outside a government building after an explosion in Bandung city, Indonesia February 27, 2017.
  • Police are seen near a local government office following an explosion in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia February 27, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
  • Police secure the area around a local government office following an explosion in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia February 27, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
  • Police are seen outside a local government office following an explosion in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia February 27, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
  • A police officer points his weapon near a local government office following an explosion in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia February 27, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

"He said he moved to Cianjur to start a new page. We knew him as a hawker of hair accessories like hair pins, decorated pencils and toys. He sold his wares near schools in Cilaku district, but last week he moved to Karang Tengah district because he had slow business in Cilaku," Didih said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Read also: Bomb attack, police shootout in Indonesian city

Didih said Yayat had a wife and three children. He said he was surprised to learn that Yayat was a suspected terrorist because he did not notice any suspicious activities or behaviour. Didih said Yayat never received any guests.

On Monday, the police searched Yayat's rented house in Cilaku.