March 27, 1995 in Nation/World

Police Raid Japanese Sect’s Chemical Laboratory

Los Angeles Times

Raids resumed today on facilities of the secretive religious sect Aum Sublime Truth as Japanese news media reported that police believe the deadly nerve gas sarin was manufactured at a sect laboratory in the village of Kamikuishiki.

Police are searching for evidence that could link the sect with last week’s poison gas attack in Tokyo’s subways that killed 10 people and injured more than 5,000.

On Sunday, police carrying blowtorches and chain saws searched three buildings at the Aum compound in snowy Kamikuishiki, 65 miles southwest of Tokyo near the foot of Mount Fuji. They discovered a chemical production plant hidden behind a wall in one of the buildings, NHK Television reported.

An underground bunker targeted in the raid was being used as a warehouse, and a building with pipes coming out its side “is some kind of laboratory,” a police officer told reporters at the scene.

Specialists are investigating whether the setup and the substances found can be used to produce sarin, the gas used in the Tokyo attack.

Police also believe the sect may have been acquiring antidotes for sarin. A doctor at a hospital run by Aum bought 600 bottles of sarin antidote between October and March, NHK reported.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus