Hong Kong The police said on Tuesday that they arrested nine people suspected of participating in terrorist activities after they discovered an attempt to create explosives and plant bombs across the city.
At the time of the arrest, Hong Kong was in a period of political division. Two years ago, months of large-scale democratic protests shook the semi-autonomous Chinese city. A year ago, Beijing imposed strict new security laws on this former British colony.
Of the nine arrested, six were middle school students. Police said the organization tried to produce explosive triacetone triacetone (TATP) in a self-made laboratory in the dormitory.
The police said they plan to use TATP to bomb courts, sea-crossing tunnels, railways, and even plan to put some of these explosives in trash cans on the street, “to maximize damage to society.”
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Senior Superintendent of the Hong Kong Police National Security Bureau Li Guihua said that the nine arrested were five men and four women, aged between 15 and 39.
The authorities stated that they confiscated the equipment and raw materials used to make TATP, as well as “trace amounts” of explosives. They also found the operation manual and about 80,000 Hong Kong dollars in cash.
The police also frozen about 600,000 Hong Kong dollars in assets, which they said may be related to the conspiracy. The authorities stated that the organization plans to leave Hong Kong forever and plans to carry out sabotage activities in Hong Kong before leaving Hong Kong.
TATP has been used in terrorist attacks worldwide. Since 2019, the Hong Kong police have arrested many people suspected of planning a bomb conspiracy and making TATP.
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Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a regular press conference on Tuesday that she hopes the public will “publicly condemn the threat of violence.”
“They shouldn’t be influenced by the wrong idea of only government tyranny… But if you want to achieve a certain goal, then breaking the law is right,” she said. “They should not be influenced to think that they can find excuses for violence.”
Lin said that her office received an envelope containing “white powder”. Police said on Tuesday that the substance is still being analyzed, but they believe it is not dangerous.
In December 2019, the authorities dismantled two bombs at a local Catholic school. In 2019, while anti-government protests were going on, a remote-controlled homemade bomb was also detonated near a police car.
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