英文

Editorial:Terrorist attack plan exposed by HK police

【明報專訊】The stabbing of a police officer on July 1 sent shock waves across society. While its reverberations have yet to subside, another incident has happened, as the police claimed yesterday (July 6) that they had exposed a ''bomb attack conspiracy'' involving a violent group that supports Hong Kong's independence. The police arrested nine people including, most shockingly, six secondary school students.

According to information about the case from the police, the terrorist attack had an organised and large-scale plan. There was an elaborate division of labour, with some members tasked with purchasing materials, some with making bombs and some with handling funds. During the arrest operation, the police seized not only laboratory tools, equipment for manufacturing TATP explosives and a small quantity of explosives, but also a highly specific guide for the attack. The targets of the attack included public facilities such as cross-harbour tunnels, railways and court buildings. The members of the operation had conducted on-site filming and surveying of two court buildings. As for the methods of the planned attack, options such as placing bombs in rubbish bins and cars were all considered. There were clear instructions for every step, including the escape route.

A close examination of the details of the case gives us some food for thought. Firstly, according to the police, necessary funds were obtained for the terrorist attack plan. The action guide shows that the suspect attempted to act in early July, meaning that the attack would have been imminent if the plan had been implemented smoothly and the police had failed to detect it in time. Citizens can no longer assume that terrorist activities will never happen in Hong Kong. Secondly, the people who planned the attacks were wicked. The court is a symbol of the rule of law, while cross-harbour tunnels and railways are important transportation infrastructure in Hong Kong used by large numbers of citizens every day. These attack targets reflect that not only did those who hatched the attacks openly challenge the rule of law, but they also paid absolutely no regard to whether innocent civilians would be harmed. Thirdly, from conception and the division of labour to deployment and execution, the entire attack plan was so precise that it could not have been conceived by a secondary school student. The six students arrested so far are just pawns used by others.

The terrorist attack conspiracy this time is related to a pro-independence organisation known as ''Returning Valiant''. Since the National Security Law for Hong Kong was implemented, pro-independence organisations have disbanded one after another. ''Returning Valiant'' became known to the public only this year. First, early this year, they set up booths on the street and discussed the history of armed revolutions in various places. They were ticketed for breaching social distancing rules. In May, a secondary school in Tseung Kwan O was breached, with some chemicals in the laboratory suspected to be the target of the burglary. The burglary was exposed by a security guard. Several people were arrested, some of whom claimed to be members of ''Returning Valiant''.

The organisation was still unheard of six months ago. On the surface, it was made up largely of students, but it was able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to plan terrorist attacks. The adult arrested was a communications officer in a university, and he was tasked with handling funds for the attack. Not a high-earner, he does not appear to be the real sponsor of the attack, while other people such as secondary school staff and taxi drivers also seem to be merely people pushed onto the frontline. It is necessary to thoroughly investigate the true nature of ''Returning Valiant'' and whether other forces were involved in the terrorist attack plot.

To root out the problem and prevent students from taking the wrong path of violence, it is necessary for parents, schools, the government and various sectors in society to make an effort to wipe out radicalisation.

明報社評 2021.07.07:利用中學生犯事可鄙 去極端化各方皆有責

「七一」刀刺警員案震撼社會,一波未平一波又起,昨天警方又宣布搗破炸彈襲擊陰謀,涉及港獨暴力組織,合共9人被捕,最令人震驚是當中有6人為中學生。

案情顯示,這是一個有組織、規模大的恐襲計劃,涉案成員分工部署精密,有人採購材料,有人製作炸彈,有人處理資金。拘捕行動中,警方除了檢獲實驗室工具、製造TATP炸藥的儀器、小量炸藥外,還有襲擊行動指南,當中內容非常具體,襲擊目標包括海底隧道、鐵路、法庭等公共設施,行動成員已到過兩處法院拍攝勘察,至於襲擊手法方面,在垃圾桶或汽車放置炸彈,均屬考慮之列,事後離開路線等,每一步都有清楚指示。

細察案情,有幾點值得思考。首先,根據警方說法,恐襲計劃已取得所需資金,行動指南顯示疑犯企圖在7月上旬行動,意味襲擊原本已是迫在眉睫,如果部署執行順利,警方又未能及時偵破,襲擊有可能短期內發生,市民不能再假設,恐怖活動不會在香港發生。其次,策劃襲擊的人,令人髮指。法院是法治象徵,海底隧道和鐵路更是本港重要運輸基建,每天大量市民使用,以它們為襲擊對象,反映策劃者不僅公然挑戰法治,更完全沒有考慮會否傷害無辜平民。第三,整個襲擊計劃由構思、分工到部署執行,都非常精密,無法想像是中學生想出來的,目前被捕的6名學生,不過是被人利用的馬前卒。

今次恐襲陰謀與一個名為「光城者」的港獨組織有關。《港區國安法》實施,陸續有港獨組織解散,「光城者」今年才進入公眾視線,先是年初擺街站介紹各地武裝革命歷史,遭票控違反限聚;及至5月,將軍澳一間中學遭人潛入,實驗室化學品疑為爆竊目標,保安撞破事件,數人被捕,當中有人自稱是「光城者」成員。

這個組織半年前仍是寂寂無聞,表面上以學生為主,竟能籌到數十萬元資金策劃恐襲。今次被捕的成年人,負責處理資金的大學傳訊主任,談不上高薪厚祿,不似是真正「金主」,其餘的中學職員及出租車司機,似乎也只是台前人物。「光城者」究竟是什麼組織,恐襲陰謀背後是否牽涉其他力量,有必要深入徹查。

要釜底抽薪、防止學生踏上暴力歧途,無論家校、政府還是社會各界,都要為「去極端化」出力。

■/ Glossary 生字 /

conspiracy /kənˈspɪrəsi/

a secret plan by a group of people to do sth harmful or illegal

hatch /hætʃ/

to create a plan or an idea, esp. in secret

pawn /pɔːn/

a person or group whose actions are controlled by more powerful people

■英語社評聲檔:link.mingpao.com/53000.htm

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