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Some HK protesters received training overseas: govt

2020-01-08 HKT 15:36
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  • Some HK protesters received training overseas: govt
Timmy Sung reports
The government said on Wednesday that it believes some of the people involved in Hong Kong's months of protests have received training overseas on how to stoke up the unrest.

The claim was made in Legco by Security Secretary John Lee.

He was responding to questions from DAB lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, who asked whether weapons seized by the police amid the ongoing protests could be linked to foreign terrorist organisations, and what the government's strategy is for "preventing foreign terrorists from engaging in illegal activities in Hong Kong".

Lee said there is no evidence to show that the firearms and suspected bomb-making materials seized by police have any links to terrorist groups.

But he added that the tactics of Hong Kong's protesters reveal that some of them have had outside help.

"We firmly believe that they have undergone some form of training. Apart from being trained locally, we believe some of them could have received training by foreigners. Because we can see how organised they are and the propaganda they use," Lee said.

"It seems that they plan every operation or incident in advance with a deliberate script, in a syndicated manner. In terms of resources and the mobilisation effort, we don't believe that a handful of rioters could organise such major events."

Lee also said he had seen reports from online media that some of the protesters have taken part in training provided by foreign groups, adding that officials will monitor the situation and identity any risk of local terrorism.

Council Front lawmaker Claudia Mo said it was irresponsible of Lee to make such allegations without providing any evidence.

"His imagination has become so far-fetched, because this allegation is completely groundless. There's not even one single news story in Hong Kong or elsewhere to support that sort of allegation. He drew that conclusion on the basis of his personal impression. That's perfectly ridiculous", Mo said.