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Terrorist Threat

Definition of Terrorism

There is no universal definition of “terrorism” in the global context. Nevertheless, the legal definition adopted by Hong Kong is similar to those used in other jurisdictions.
The following Hong Kong legislations respectively state the definition of “Terrorist Acts” and “Terrorist Activities”:

United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance

United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance

According to Section 2 of Cap.575 United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance, “terrorist act” consists of the following elements:

(i) The action is carried out with the intention of, or the threat is made with the intention of using action that would have the effect of—
(A) causing serious violence against a person;
(B) causing serious damage to property;
(C) endangering a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action;
(D) creating a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public;
(E) seriously interfering with or seriously disrupting an electronic system; or
(F) seriously interfering with or seriously disrupting an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private; and

[In the case of (D), (E) or (F), does not include the use or threat of action in the course of any advocacy, protest, dissent or industrial action.]

(ii) The use or threat of action is—

(A) intended to compel the Government or an international organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public; and
(B) made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

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The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The HKSAR Government gazette The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law) on 2020-06-30.

According to Part 3, Chapter III of the law, a person who organizes, plans, commits, participates in or threatens to commit any of the following terrorist activities causing or intended to cause grave harm to the society with a view to coercing the Central People’s Government, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or an international organization or intimidating the public in order to pursue political agenda shall be guilty of an offence:

(A) serious violence against a person or persons;
(B) explosion, arson, or dissemination of poisonous or radioactive substances, pathogens of infectious diseases or other substances;
(C) sabotage of means of transport, transport facilities, electric power or gas facilities, or other combustible or explosible facilities;
(D) serious interruption or sabotage of electronic control systems for providing and managing public services such as water, electric power, gas, transport, telecommunications and the internet; or
(E) other dangerous activities which seriously jeopardize public health, safety or security.

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Common Types of Terrorism

There are different types of terrorism across the globe, which are motivated by different religious, political or ideological causes. They share similarities by way of pursuing their goals by extreme violent means.

Common types of terrorism include:

  • Religious extremism

    (e.g. Islamist extremism);

  • Far-right extremism;

  • Far-left extremism;

  • Separatism; and

  • Single-issue extremism.