BREAKING NEWS: NINE PEOPLE, including six secondary students, were arrested today (6 July 2021) making major explosives for use in Hong Kong.
On 1 July, Hong Kong suffered its first-ever suicide terrorist attack. The suicide attack happened in Hong Kong Island’s busiest spot. The terrorist attempted to murder an on-duty police officer by stabbing him in the back. The terrorist then killed himself.
The suicide attack came only two days after Hong Kong police arrested two other terrorists with seven 1.5 kg packages of “precursor chemicals” capable of making bombs, as well “gunpowder-filled cartridges and home-made firearms”.
In the latest incident, police seized triacetone triperoxide (TATP) in a Tsim Sha Tsui hostel room—the same deadly explosive used by terrorists in the 2005 London bombings in which 57 people were killed and 784 injured.
The bombs were to have been deployed at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, MTR or other railway stations, and the city’s courts. Others were intended to be placed in rubbish bins near major roads.
The Hong Kong terrorist group, called Returning Valiant, had major financial backing with HK$600,000 in the bank, and had HK$80,000 in cash, police said.
In the code used by Hong Kong independence campaigners, the word “Valiant” translates as violence.
The youngest arrestee was 15, the oldest 39, police told the press at a briefing.
“They had a good division of labor among those arrested. Some of them provided money. Some are the scientists: the ones who made the TATP in the room,” Senior Superintendent Steve Li said. He added that there was also “a surveying team and an action team, which is responsible for laying the bombs.” This was clearly professionally orchestrated. Police described the hostel room, rented for about a month, as being set up as a laboratory for the manufacture of bombs.
As well as the six secondary school students, the list included a secondary school teacher and a senior university staffer. The staff member was from Baptist University, and was responsible for handling the money, according to HK01, a news outlet.
Police showed confiscated items, including black helmets, masks and shields of the type commonly seen in the more violent of the 2019 protests, and literature featuring pictures of Hong Kong Independence flags and US flags.
It is noteworthy that several English language news agencies are relating the arrest to Hong Kong’s 2020 US-style national security law, but similar arrests of individuals making bombs, and also using TATP, were made in 2019.
Meanwhile, on 6 July 2021, an American lawyer Samuel Phillip Bickett (37) and former director at Bank of America Securities in HK, was sentenced by a Hong Kong court to a four and a half month prison term for assaulting an on duty Hong Kong police officer at a railway station in December 2019.