Japan hangs doomsday cult members who attacked subway with sarin

Japan executes ex-leader of cult behind subway sarin attack that killed 13 – report

On March 20, 1995, cult members used umbrellas to puncture plastic bags, releasing sarin nerve gas inside subway cars just as their trains approached the Kasumigaseki station, Japan's Capitol Hill, during the morning rush. "Thinking that makes me feel frustrated", Takahashi said.

It goes without saying that the other six members of Aum Shinrikyo will equally face the same fate in the near future.

A Japanese government spokesman has confirmed the execution of doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara. A string of crimes resulted in the deaths of 29 people.

The attack in 1995 woke up a relatively safe country to the risk of urban terrorism.

That attack, which involved a refrigerator truck releasing the gas to be dispersed by the wind through a neighbourhood, failed to kill the judges but killed eight other people and injured hundreds.

Asahara, 63, a pudgy, partially blind yoga instructor, was sentenced to hang in 2004 on 13 charges, including the subway gas attacks and a series of other crimes that killed more than a dozen more people.

He said that more than 10 years after he left the cult, he had "no special feeling" for Asahara, but had still been somewhat nervous about the potential repercussions for criticizing him in public.

Born Chizuo Matsumoto in 1955, Asahara founded Aum Shinrikyo, or Supreme Truth, in the mid-1980s.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Suga said authorities are taking precautionary measures in case of any retaliation by Asahara's followers.

Shoko Asahara, who masterminded the attack in which 13 people died and more than 6,000 others fell ill, was hanged at a detention centre, reports said, citing justice ministry sources.

Matsumoto insisted he did not instruct his followers to carry out the attacks.

As the cult grew, the families of members began to raise the alarm, and complaints of brainwashing and abuse within Aum Shinrikyo became more common. His death sentence was finalized in 2006.

His execution was the first of 13 former Aum members who have been condemned to death. Last year, a court ruled that the Aum Shinrikyo no longer posed a threat to the public. There are 117 convicts on death row.

Aum Shinrikyo is believed to still have thousands of followers.

Major Japanese media are reporting that some disciples of doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara have also been executed.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency's analysis is that all three groups are still under the influence of Matsumoto and continue to have risky characteristics. Asahara proclaimed that he would take the sins of the world upon himself to save his devoted followers in preparation for the coming third world war he predicted the United States was about to start.

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