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Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult removed from US terrorist list

This picture taken on March 20, 1995 shows fire department officers moving into Kasumigaseki subway station following a sarin gas attack by doomsday cult Aum Supreme Truth (Aum Shinrikyo) in Tokyo. (AFP)
This picture taken on March 20, 1995 shows fire department officers moving into Kasumigaseki subway station following a sarin gas attack by doomsday cult Aum Supreme Truth (Aum Shinrikyo) in Tokyo. (AFP)
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21 May 2022 09:05:13 GMT9
21 May 2022 09:05:13 GMT9

WASHINGTON: The US State Department said Friday that it has removed five groups, including Japan’s now-defunct Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Aum Shinrikyo, which committed many serious crimes including the 1995 deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subway system, was dropped from the list possibly because former Aum Shinrikyo leader Chizuo Matsumoto, who went by the name of Shoko Asahara, was executed in 2018.

The department reviews the list every five years. Aum Shinrikyo was added to the list in 1997.

“The five organizations are no longer engaged in terrorism or terrorist activity and do not retain the capability and intent to do so,” the department said.

Still, the department said, “These revocations do not seek to overlook or excuse the terrorist acts each of these groups previously engaged in or the harm the organizations caused its victims.”

The five groups will remain labeled as specially designated global terrorist entities under an executive order and their assets in the United States will be kept frozen.

In Japan, Aleph, which is Aum Shinrikyo’s main successor organization, is continuing its activities, with the Public Security Intelligence Agency boosting its surveillance over the group.

JIJI Press

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