Shoko Asahara
08 Jul 2018

Japanese cultleaders behind Tokyo sarin gas attack have been executed

Terrorism
Communication Group

23 years ago, dooms day cult Aum Shinrikyo performed one of the deadliest attacks in Japan's history, in Tokyo's underground subway during rush hour traffic.

13 people died and thousands were injured.

Now the section leader Shoko Asahara and six cult members have been executed.

On Monday, March 20, 1995, members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo placed several bags filled with poisonous sarin gas in five subway cars in Tokyo - in the midst of rush traffic.

The attack killed 13 people and injured thousands. Sect leader Shoko Asahara was arrested two months later.

On Friday, 23 years after one of the deadliest attacks in Japan's history, he and six members were executed by hanging, reports the New York Times.

 

Manipulated students at school

Shoko Asahara founded Aum Shinrikyo in 1987 and mixed teachings from, among other things, Buddhism and Hinduism. The same year as the metro attack was conducted, the sect had more than 10,000 followers in Japan and more than 30,000 members in Russia.

Before Shoko Asahara became a cult leader, he worked as an acupuncture therapist, and a Chinese medicine and yoga instructor.

Asahara was visually impaired and went to school for the blind, where he allegedly was good at manipulating other students - a talent that Asahara then refined as a sectarian.


Aum Shinrikyo attracted mainly young people from the Japanese elite, disillusioned by the country's material successes at the expense of spiritual satisfaction.

Before the attack in March 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo sect had been linked to more than a dozen deaths - including a minor gas attack in Nagano last year that killed eight people. Leader Shoko Asahara was also convicted of that attack.

 

Emergency personnel respond to the Tokyo subway sarin attack. From 'Proceedings of the Seminar on Responding to the Consequences of Chemical and Biological Terrorism'
Emergency personnel respond to the Tokyo subway sarin attack. From 'Proceedings of the Seminar on Responding to the Consequences of Chemical and Biological Terrorism'. Photo: Wikipedia