Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they have foiled a “bloody attack” after arresting two men for possessing explosive substances and weapons allegedly intended for protest-related lone wolf attacks before the Lunar New Year.

A 42-year-old computer programmer and a 62-year-old renovation worker were arrested on Monday in Fanling for possessing 23.5 kilogrammes of explosive raw materials such as firecrackers, fireworks and sulphur.

Police press conference on suspected explosive chemicals. Photo: Hong Kong Police, via Facebook video screenshot.

Police said they also found a large number of gas masks, 300 filters and protective gear as well as a bow and arrow, two suspected electroshock weapons and eight telescopic sticks.

At other locations in Chai Wan, Sheung Wan and Shatin, police found more materials such as gas masks and helmets.

The two men are in police custody as investigations continue.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Senior Superintendent Ho Chun-tung said some people were planning to provide the materials to “local radical violent individuals” for “bloody resistance” before the Lunar New Year which starts on Friday.

Ho Chun-tung in a police press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Hong Kong Police, via video screenshot.

Police also found leaflets with political slogans. Ho said the two arrested and other people being investigated were “to a certain degree” related to cases of violence during anti-government protests in 2019 and 2020.

“Our actions not only dissolved a radical violent group, but also stopped a possible bloody attack,” said Ho. “We are, at the same time, considerably worried that there will be lone-wolf attacks, even though at the moment we don’t have concrete evidence or intelligence.”

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.