Aum Shinrikyo to remain under surveillance for another 3 years

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Kyodo News reports that

Two religious groups derived from the AUM Shinrikyo cult, known for its deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, will remain under surveillance by Japanese public security authorities for another three years from Feb. 1, following a decision by the Public Security Examination Commission on Monday.

The fourth extension of the surveillance will cover Aleph, which inherited AUM’s mainstream faction and dogma, and “Hikari no Wa” which was set up in 2007 by former senior AUM member Fumihiro Joyu.

According to the Public Security Intelligence Agency, there are about 1,300 Aleph members and 200 Hikari no Wa members in Japan, with a total of 32 related facilities in 15 prefectures. The two claim to have added about 200 new members since January last year.

The agency had sought to keep the groups under state surveillance as it believes that the influence of cult founder Shoko Asahara, who is on death row for a series of AUM crimes, is still strong among those members and they could again commit random mass murder.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 17, 2014