The doomsday cult accused in the Tokyo subway gas attack was interested in the deadly Ebola virus and included it in a discussion of possible biological-weapons agents during a radio broadcast in December.
The cult also once sent a medical mission to Zaire, where the virus was discovered in 1976 and the site of a current outbreak.
During the radio broadcast from Moscow, Seiichi Endo, a cult scientist, said that Ebola was among the dangerous viruses that could be used to make biological weapons.
Discussion of biological agents was couched in a way that presented them as a threat to the cult, not as a weapon the group itself would use. However, former followers and media reports say the cult was at the time developing biological weapons using botulism.