Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: Aum Shinrikyo:

Japanese authorities raid doomsday cult facilities ahead of guru’s trial

Associated Press, USA
Feb. 15, 2004 • Monday February 16, 2004

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese agents raided key facilities of a doomsday cult Monday, searching for evidence of a terror plot ahead of a verdict in the trial of the group’s guru for a 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subways.

About 200 investigators poured into the Tokyo headquarters and 10 other centers of the former Aum Shinrikyo in the latest raid on the group, which now calls itself Aleph. Investigators did not immediately detain any suspects Monday.

The raids come ahead of the Feb. 27 verdict in the murder trial of guru Shoko Asahara, who is accused of masterminding the Tokyo attack, which killed 12 people and sickened thousands, and a series of other murders. He faces the death penalty. Prosecutors demanded the capital punishment for Asahara.

The group has shown signs of greater devotion to Asahara in recent months, raising concerns it could mount a terror attack around the time of his ruling, an official with the Public Security Intelligence Agency said on condition of anonymity.

Agents also want to pin down the whereabouts of group leaders, the official said.

Despite a police crackdown after the March 1995 gas attack, the cult has regrouped in recent years and now has 1,650 members in Japan and 300 in Russia. The group remains under surveillance by the intelligence agency.

At its height, Aum Shinrikyo had 10,000 members in Japan and 30,000 in Russia.

The cult had a chemical and biological weapons program and produced the sarin gas that was used in the Tokyo attack. Asahara is also accused of killing wayward disciples and ordering the deaths of an anti-cult lawyer and his family.

So far, 11 of Asahara’s followers have been sentenced to death in connection with several cult attacks. None has yet been executed.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow Topic(s): Aum Shinrikyo

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog