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Aum Shinrikyo‘s (Supreme Truth) Aum Shinrikyo, an extremist religious sect founded in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, a blind yoga guru from Tokyo. Religious status.

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Presentation on theme: "Aum Shinrikyo‘s (Supreme Truth) Aum Shinrikyo, an extremist religious sect founded in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, a blind yoga guru from Tokyo. Religious status."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aum Shinrikyo‘s (Supreme Truth) Aum Shinrikyo, an extremist religious sect founded in 1987 by Shoko Asahara, a blind yoga guru from Tokyo. Religious status granted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in August Ideology was a mixture of ancient Buddhism and an apocalyptic vision. The sect was engaged in various criminal activities and included the production and use of nthrax, botulinum toxin, sarin gas, VX and hydrogen cyanide gas. Membership expanded rapidly, reaching its peak with over followers in 1995.

2 The aim of the attack was to inflict massive casualties in the heart of Tokyo‘s governmental center. The attack involved 5 persons and 11 bags containing liquid sarin. 13 people died and over 6000 thousand were affected. The relatively low number of casualties was because of the poor quality of the chemical substance and the inadequate dispersal method. March 20, 1995 Terrorist attack against the Tokyo subway system

3 Aum Shinrikyo’s Chemical and Biological Program Aum’s biological program was a failure, while its chemical program was even more capable than the number of deaths they caused. Aum displayed impressive persistence and produced successes despite misallocation of resources and numerous production and dissemination failures. The key work on Aum’s biological and chemical programs was conducted largely by the leadership group. This limited access to necessary skill and the leadership often lacked knowledge to make good judgments. After Aum crossed the threshold of violence, there was no special reluctance among Aum’s leaders to use pathogens and chemicals or to kill many people randomly, rather than a few specifically.

4 What enabled Aum Shinrikyo to remain undetected Religious corporation status provided Aum various privileges including de facto immunity from law enforcement oversight and investigation. Many Japanese took comfort in their perceived isolation from the high crime rates of other highly developed countries. Government saw a hostage crisis as its only terrorism concern. Asahara always used more than one person for each criminal activity. Aum members were thus involved in numerous criminal activities and had little ability to make individual decisions. Though the Japanese police investigation of Aum was limited, even intermittent or anticipated enforcement actions disrupted the cult’s efforts to develop chemical and biological weapons.

5 Failures in the Response to the Tokyo Subway Attack Inadequate response by the Japanese emergency services in the first hours of the attack significantly increased the number of casualties. The coordinated, multi-site nature of the attack was initially unknown to train operators and other first responders. It was more than an hour before authorities connect the incidents. The attack presented a completely novel situation for most government employees at all levels and no response plans or training existed for local response personnel. Bureaucratic barriers further hindered the response. No contingency plans detailing how to respond to or decontaminate a WMD attack existed outside of the military, who were initially barred from acting.

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