May 24, 1995 in Nation/World

Japanese Cult Saw Ebola Virus As Weapon

Compiled From Wire Services

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.

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