Authorities stage counter-terror drill

Counter-terrorism authorities on Friday held a drill at the West Kowloon high speed rail terminus to simulate various terrorist attacks, including one that involved biochemical weapons.

The drill, code-named “Tigerpace”, involved about 300 officers from the disciplined services, including the police, the Immigration Department and the Fire Services Department.

In one of the scenarios, a terrorist tried to come to Hong Kong to join others to launch attacks on critical infrastructures, but immigration officers prevented him from entering.

Another exercise involved a gunman opening fire towards a crowd outside the terminus, and he was shot by the force’s counter-terrorism response unit that arrived at the scene.

Another terrorist launched a biochemical attack nearby, prompting the Fire Services Department to send its hazmat team to help decontaminate injured people.

Police senior superintendent Peter Leung from the Interdepartmental Counter-Terrorism Unit said the large-scale exercise was aimed at testing and enhancing various departments’ capabilities in dealing with intelligence and responding to different forms of attacks.

He said Hong Kong’s threat level remains moderate, which means there is a possibility of an attack but there is no specific intelligence suggesting that the city is likely to be a target.

Still, he said authorities will remain vigilant.

“Radicals or terrorists elsewhere tend to select some crucial and symbolic date to carry out violent attack for their own causes. We should be fully prepared to deal with such terrorist threat,” he told reporters.

Leung also said some “local radicals” have gone underground and might seek to stage attacks, adding that they would pay particular attention to the upcoming Legco elections and Christmas holiday.