Hong Kong police announced Tuesday the arrest of nine people suspected of terrorism, after discovering a plan to manufacture explosives and plant bombs in the city.
The arrests came at a time of political upheaval in Hong Kong, two years after massive anti-government protests paralyzed the city for months. A Hong Kong man stabbed a policeman last week before committing suicide.
Of the nine detained, six are high school students. The group was trying to make acetone peroxide (an explosive known as TATP) in a home laboratory in a hostel, according to police.
They planned to use the TATP to attack courtyards, tunnels that cross under the port, railways and even planned to place part of the explosives in trash cans on the street “to maximize the damage caused to society,” police said.
The detainees were five men and four women between the ages of 15 and 39, according to Superintendent Li Kwai-wah of the Hong Kong Department of Homeland Security.
Authorities said they seized instruments and ingredients to make TATP, as well as “a residual amount” of the explosive substance. They also found manuals and about HK $80,000 in cash.
All members of the group planned to leave the territory permanently and planned to commit sabotage before leaving Hong Kong, according to police.
TATP has been used in terrorist attacks in different parts of the world. Since 2019, Hong Kong police have detained several people for alleged bomb plotting and manufacturing TATP.
In December 2019, authorities defused two bombs at a local Catholic school. In 2019, a remote-controlled homemade bomb was also detonated near a police car, while protests against the government were still taking place.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.