Alleged bomb plot comes as ‘no surprise’

Political commentator Joseph Cheng on Wednesday said he was not surprised about a suspected bomb plot targeting public facilities across Hong Kong, saying there were similar reports during the anti-government protests in 2019.

Cheng said there was considerable anger in society against the government and police, and authorities should engage in dialogue with the community to tackle the root causes of the discontent.

“I do remember that in the early summer and autumn of 2019 there were suggestions of some kind of independent commission of inquiry, and the launch of dialogue between the government and the community and so on, and it is sad that under the present circumstances, no one is interested to raise these suggestions once more, simply because I daresay the parties believe such suggestions are naive and impracticable at this time” he said.

Police on Tuesday said they had arrested nine people, including six schoolchildren, on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities, with an alleged plot to blow up Hong Kong courts, the cross-harbour tunnels and the railways.

Officers said they had found explosives, chemicals that could be turned into TATP, and bomb-making equipment in a hostel room in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Helmets, shields, air guns and walkie-talkies were also found, police said, adding that they had frozen bank funds of around HK$600,000.