World Former leader of Japanese doomsday cult hanged over 1995 sarin gas attack

05:35  06 july  2018
05:35  06 july  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out a deadly sarin attack on Tokyo's subway in 1995 , was executed on Friday, local media reported. Shoko Asahara, guru of the doomsday Aum Shinrikyo cult , October 1 1990 Credit: JIJI PRESS/AFP.

The Tokyo subway sarin attack (Subway Sarin Incident (地下鉄サリン事件 Chikatetsu Sarin Jiken) was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on March 20, 1995 , in Tokyo, Japan

a man wearing a hat© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post The former leader of a doomsday cult that carried out a deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 was executed on Friday, Japanese media reported. Six other cult members were also hanged.

Shoko Asahara was the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo or Aum Supreme Truth cult that was responsible for releasing sarin gas on five Tokyo subway trains during the rush hour in 1995, killing 13 people and poisoning more than 6,000 others.

He was sentenced to death in 2004, one of 13 cult members who ended up on death row and the first to be executed.

Asahara, 63, a partially blind former yoga instructor, believed that the United States would attack Japan with nuclear weapons, and that only cult members would survive World War III.

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The former leader of a Japanese doomsday cult that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 , has been executed. Chizuo Matsumoto, who went by the name Shoko Asahara, was the first of 13 scheduled to be hanged for the attacks , public broadcaster NHK reported.

TOKYO (Reuters) – The former leader of Aum, the Japanese doomsday cult that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 , was executed on Friday, public broadcaster NHK reported. Chizuo Matsumoto, who went by the name Shoko Asahara

He mixed Buddhist and Hindu beliefs with apocalyptic Christian prophecies, declaring himself both to be Christ and the first enlightened being since Buddha. At its peak, Aum had tens of thousands of followers, mostly in Japan and Russia.

Sarin is a deadly nerve gas originally developed by the Nazis.

Aum members first released it in 1994 in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto, in a failed attack on three judges set to rule on the cult, nevertheless killing eight people and making hundreds ill. Cult members also staged several failed attempts to release hydrogen cyanide on subway trains following the 1995 attack.

But it was the Tokyo subway attack on March 20, 1995, and the images of rush-hour commuters lying dead or staggering from the effects of sarin, that shocked the nation and woke it up to the dangers of a cult that was based on a huge commune at the foot of Mount Fuji.

Asahara pleaded not guilty and never testified, only muttering and making incoherent remarks in court during the eight years of his trial, according to Reuters. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2006.

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