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Government-wide counter-terrorism exercise successfully completed

     A large-scale inter-departmental counter-terrorism exercise, which aimed at testing the effectiveness of Hong Kong's counter-terrorism capabilities in dealing with terrorist activities, as well as enhancing the awareness, co-ordination and response capabilities of government departments, was successfully completed today (November 13).

     Spanning a period of two weeks, the exercise, codenamed "Windgate", commenced on November 2. It encompassed drills on intelligence co-ordination and development, communication and notification protocols, and featured field deployments, as well as desktop exercises.

     The starting scenario involved a simulated terrorist plot by members of a fictitious foreign extremist group to launch an attack in Hong Kong. One member was intercepted at the airport upon entry into the territory, setting off a series of response actions by relevant departments in tracking down the rest of the group and unravelling the plot.

     A variety of spin-off scenarios were added to the exercise to test specific capabilities of individual participating departments as well as the effectiveness of inter-departmental communication and co-ordination. In the field deployment exercises, the terrorist threat level of Hong Kong was raised from "moderate" to "high", triggering the implementation of measures under the various departmental contingency plans. Prohibited materials shipped by the terrorists which could be used for producing explosives were intercepted in Hong Kong waters en route to another destination. The railway security exercise held in the early hours of Tuesday (November 10) at MTR Kennedy Town Station, in which the Police neutralised a group of self-radicalised local terrorists attacking the station, was also part of this integrated exercise.

     "While the level of terrorist threat in Hong Kong remains moderate, it is important for the Government to stay vigilant and well prepared, especially in view of the fast-changing international and regional security landscapes. The large-scale inter-departmental exercise in the past two weeks has enhanced awareness, co-ordination and response capabilities among participating departments in discharging counter-terrorism duties. Our various service departments will continue to work on boosting the counter-terrorism capability of our society to ensure swift and effective response to any emergencies which might threaten the lives and property of our public," a Government spokesperson said.

     Exercise "Windgate" was organised by the Security Bureau, and had the participation of some 40 bureaux, departments and selected industry stakeholders, including the Police, the Immigration Department, the Customs and Excise Department, the Fire Services Department, the Civil Aviation Department and the Marine Department.

Ends/Friday, November 13, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:51


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