Hong Kong police on Tuesday said they arrested nine people on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activity, after uncovering an attempt to make explosives and plant bombs across the city.Police hold a news conference with confiscated evidence seen at front, the police headquarters in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
The arrests come amid a political divisive time in Hong Kong, two years after months of massive anti-government protests rocked the city. Last week, a Hong Kong man stabbed a police officer with a knife, before killing himself.
Of the nine arrested, six are secondary school students. The group were attempting to make the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) in a homemade laboratory in a hostel, police said.
They planned to use the TATP to bomb courts, cross-harbor tunnels, railways and even planned to put some of these explosives in trash bins on the street “to maximize damage caused to the society,” police said.
The nine arrested are five men and four women between 15 and 39 years old, according to Senior Superintendent Li Kwai-wah of the Hong Kong Police National Security Department.
Authorities said they seized apparatus and raw materials used to make the TATP, as well as a “trace amount” of the explosive.