Doomsday cult leader, followers executed for 1995 sarin attack in Tokyo subway

Doomsday cult leader, followers executed for 1995 sarin attack in Tokyo subway

Doomsday cult leader, followers executed for 1995 sarin attack in Tokyo subway

Fire fighters in protective suits approach Kasumigaseki subway station following a sarin gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Tokyo on March 20, 1995.

The cult has since been renamed Aleph, with an estimated 2,000 members watched closely by authorities, according to the Associated Press. Japanese media reports Asahara, who has been on death row for masterminding the 1995 deadly Tokyo subway gassing and other crimes, has been executed.

The others hanged Friday included two scientists who led the production of the sarin gas and one of the men who carried out the actual attack on the subway.

Doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara and six of his followers have been executed for their roles in a deadly 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subways and other crimes, closing a chapter on one of Japan's most shocking crimes in recent memory.

"The police will take measures to be fully prepared", the top government spokesman said when asked by reporters about potential retaliation by people close to the cult. Another six members, also linked to the country's worst terror incident, are still awaiting execution.

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 July 6, 2018, local media reported.

The attack during the capital's notoriously crowded rush hour paralyzed Tokyo, turning it into a virtual warzone. His mix of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity and social disillusionment attracted thousands of followers. They took part in weird rituals, such as drinking his bathwater and wearing electrical caps they believed synchronized their brain waves with Asahara's.

During his trial, Asahara often used diapers and sat on a cushion meant to make his incontinence inconspicuous.

Asahara was sentenced to death after a lengthy prosecution during which he regularly delivered rambling and incoherent monologues in English and Japanese. "Now, I can pay a visit to her grave and tell her of this".

Yoshihiro Yasuda, Asahara's main lawyer during his trial, said the last time he was allowed to see Asahara at the detention center was in 2006.

In addition to the eight people killed, hundreds were injured by the colorless, odorless nerve gas.

Some survivors of the cult's crimes opposed the executions, saying they would end hopes for a fuller explanation of the crimes.

The convicted also assaulted and murdered wayward followers and people who helped members leave the cult.

It even presented a list of candidates for the 1990 general election but did not win any seats in parliament. During their freakish election campaign, Asahara and his top disciples sang and danced to the guru's songs. The sarin gas attack the cult carried out in Tokyo shattered Japan's sense of public safety.

His execution came as a slew of trials involving AUM members came to an end after more than 20 years with the Supreme Court's decision on January 18 to reject an appeal against a life sentence filed by Katsuya Takahashi, the last former member on trial.

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