TOKYO — In the cult‘s most holy building, a secret door behind a huge Hindu statue leads to a hidden chemical lab. From there, an underground passage connects to a storeroom filled with all the chemicals needed to make nerve gas.
The discoveries yesterday are among the many chilling details police have revealed in raids against the secretive Aum Shinri Kyo sect, or Supreme Truth, the chief suspect in last week’s nerve gas attack on Tokyo subways.
Ten people were killed and 5,000 sickened in the March 20 attack. Hundreds of people remain hospitalized.
Inside or near several of the sect’s drab concrete buildings near the foot of Mount Fuji, police found rooms or underground containers that they believe were used to confine people who tried to flee.
Police documents obtained by Japanese media say the group, which claims 10,000 followers in Japan, is directed by a network of about 20 ”ministries.”
A report today in the Yomiuri newspaper said police were ready to question a man hospitalized for nerve gas poisoning last week. Police believe the man fits the description given by several witnesses of a person seen planting a newspaper-wrapped container of the deadly gas on their train, the report said.
Police refused to comment.
Nearly a week of intense searches have turned up tons of chemicals, millions of dollars worth of yen and piles of gold bars.