Officers alleged that the men had made social media posts aimed at inciting hatred and violence, and claimed they had called for some well-known people to be killed.
Asked by reporters whether they were linking the alleged find to the upcoming July 1 handover anniversary, the police said they would not rule out the possibility that some people planned to “hurt innocent civilians” on a special occasion.
Alick McWhirter, a Senior Bomb Disposal Officer, said the amount of “precursor chemicals” found in a residential unit in Lam Tin was very dangerous.
“The quantity of chemicals seized is consistent with an end product of approximately one to 1.5 kilogrammes of gunpowder,” he said.
“One to 1.5 kilograms of gunpowder could result in a very serious explosion. That this was being considered in a residential building was incredibly reckless.”
The police said they also seized some gun parts and imitation guns.
They claimed the case showed that a small number of people in Hong Kong still want to take radical and violent action to disrupt stability in society.