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Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Doomsday Cult Leader Executed in Japan For 1995 Tokyo Subway Attack

Doomsday Cult Leader Executed in Japan For 1995 Tokyo Subway Attack

More than 20 years of trials involving Aum members, including Asahara, came to an end in January 2018, when the life sentence of Katsuya Takahashi for his part in the 1995 subway sarin gas attack was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Japanese authorities said they were on alert for potential retaliation after the executions and local media reported police were visiting groups linked to the Aum and successor cults.

"When I heard the news, I reacted calmly. but I did feel the world had become slightly brighter", he said.

"I regret that is no longer possible", she said. "I wanted (cult members) to confess more about the incident, so it's a pity that we can not hear their account anymore".

The move drew sharp criticism from some lawmakers as well as Amnesty International, which called capital punishment "the ultimate denial of human rights".

The police and the Public Security Intelligence Agency are gathering intelligence and closely monitoring followers who could possibly attempt to retrieve the bodies of Asahara and the six others.

Other cult members hanged on Friday included scientists who helped produce the sarin in an Aum laboratory, the cult's "intelligence" director, a member responsible for capturing potential cult defectors and the cult's director for acquiring land.

Seki was a minor when he killed four people - a 42-year-old corporate executive, the man's wife, 36, their 4-year-old daughter and the executive's 83-year-old mom.

Aum Shinrikyo split into Hikari no Wa and Aleph in 2007.

And there have been fears that Asahara's execution could usher in a replacement "guru".

He was visually impaired and attended a school for the blind, where he was known as a manipulative leader of other students, a role he continued with Aum Shinrikyo.

The cult was preparing for the apocalypse, and had more than 10,000 members in Japan alone.

The cult was implicated in other horrifying crimes.

Seven members of the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo were executed in Tokyo on Friday, July 6.

The picture above shows Aum Shinrikyo members outside during the raid.

The cult garnered global disrepute after its horrendous attack that killed 12 people on the scene at the Tokyo subway and injured 5,500 others.

The group went underground after the March 20, 1995 attack in which bags filled with liquid sarin nerve agent were pierced and left on subway trains traveling through Tokyo's political district.

Asahara was captured two months later, dragged out of a hidden compartment in a ceiling where he had holed up to evade arrest.

Born Chizuo Matsumoto in 1955 on the southwestern island of Kyushu, he changed his name in the 1980s, when the Aum cult was being developed. In that attack, the group sprayed the gas from a modified vehicle.

The reports say Asahara and some of his followers were hanged Friday. By 2006, he had exhausted the appeals process.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency continued to monitor the groups, believing they were still under the influence of Asahara.

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