Hong Kong authorities said they have thwarted an alleged plot to bomb train stations, court buildings and tunnels organized by advocates for the city’s independence from China.
Steve Li, the senior superintendent of the police’s National Security Department, said Tuesday nine people between the ages of 15 and 29 had been arrested, including six high school students, a high school employee and a university staff member.
“(The) plans are shocking because it seems to target a lot of people,” Li said. The alleged plot aimed to “maximize damage to society,” he added.
The suspects had rented a hotel room in Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular shopping district known for its sweeping views of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbour, to build explosives, Li said.
The room had been rented since early June, but the lab had only been “recently” set up, he said. The suspects had the tools and materials to make triacetone triperoxide (TATP), police said. TATP is a powerful high explosive that was used in terrorist atrocities like the 2015 Paris bombings and Brussels attacks in 2016.