March 20th 1995 Five men...
-Ikuo Hayashi.. A former senior medical doctor who graduated from Keio University
-Kenichi Hirose.. Holder of a postgraduate degree in Physics from prestigious Waseda University.
-Yasuo Hayashi... A graduated from Kogakuin University in artificial intelligence
-Masoto Yokoyama.. A graduate in Applied Physics from Tokai University's Engineering Department.
-Toru Toyoda.. Graduated with honours in Physics at University of Tokyo's Science Department. He also holds a masters degree
In five coordinated attacks released the nerve gas sarin
A volatile nerve agent created in Nazi Germany,
on the metro system in Tokyo, Japan. Sarin is 500 times more toxic than cyanide and a drop the size of a pin head is enough to kill an adult.
The Attacks killed thirteen people and injured
others (ranging from lightly to
The trains targeted were all passing through Kasumigaseki and Nagatachō, which is the home of the Japanese government.
In total 10 people were involved in the attacks. The five perpetrators and five getaway drivers.. Most of the men were captured and sentenced to
They were members of a Japanese doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikyo
(supreme truth). The group
was founded in 1984 in a one bedroom apartment by Shoko Asahara in a Tokyo. It started as a Yoga and meditation class.
During the time of the attacks the group claimed 9,000 members in Japan and up to 40,000 worldwide and was said to be worth 1.5 billion dollars.
Their beliefs combined bits of Yoga, Hinduism, end of times Christianity, the writings of Nostradamus and doomsday prophecies.
In 1992 Asahara published a book, in which he declared himself "Christ"
After the attacks..
On 10 October 1995, Aum Shinrikyo was ordered to be stripped of its official status as a "religious legal entity" and was declared bankrupt in
early 1996. However the group continues to operate under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, funded by a successful computer business
and donations, and under strict surveillance.
The group heavily experimented with chemical and biological weapons including botulin toxin, anthrax, cholera, Q fever and the Ebola virus they are
also thought to have attempted previous attacks to the 1995 Tokyo subway attack.
Operatives tried to release botulin near the Diet in 1990, and near the imperial palace in 1993. An anthrax release from its Tokyo office building
in 1993 caused foul smells, brown steam, pet deaths and stains on cars and sidewalks. None of these attacks is known to have caused death or injury.
A few years before the Sarin attacks, In march 1993, the group purchased the remote Banjawarn sheep station in Western Australia. It is located 500
miles (800km) N.E of Perth very close to the Great Victorian Desert. It covers a massive area of 500,000 acres (780 sq miles) Roughly the size of
It is worth noting this area is one of the most isolated places on earth, surrounded by Australian outback/desert, with a very few people for hundreds
According to the Australian Federal Police report, the cult travelled to Australia and paid over $20,000 dollars in excess baggage fees. Items
included in the baggage were mining equipment, a mechanical digger, picks, generators, gas masks, respirators and shovels. They were also carrying
chemicals. A custom duty of over $15,000 was paid to import the items.
Alerted by the huge amount of excess baggage Australian Customs searched the group and checked the equipment. They found hydrochloric acid, ammonium
chloride, sodium sulphate, perchloric acid and ammonium water. Some of these were wrongly labelled and were all confiscated by Australian officials.
Some of the equipment was also seized.
Soon after the cult had established advanced research facility at the remote location. This is where the cult produced the deadly Sarin gas among
(Cult leader Shoko Asahara)
Members of the cult that worked at the station included two former Soviet nuclear scientists and the property was also said to contain huge uranium
At approx 11am (local time) on May 28, 1993, a large seismic event occurred, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre of the disturbance was
said to be located near the Banjawarn sheep station.
"Several reported seeing a large fireball streak across the sky and disappear beyond the horizon, followed by a near-blinding burst of light
accompanied by a loud blast, a massive seismic ground wave, and a huge red flare that shot into the sky. This in turn was followed by "a deep
red-orange coloured hemisphere of opaque light" that hovered above the apparent explosion site for hours, then suddenly disappeared; another fireball
an hour after the first one; and possibly a third one still later (or earlier--the observers didn't remember).
a “huge red coloured flare” shot vertically skyward into the dark night sky. Immediately afterwards the ground shook, so violently apparently,
that some of the few witnesses in the remote area reported being knocked to the ground while standing around a campfire. A loud explosive blast was
then heard over a massive 250 km x 150 km area and some “minor quake damage” was reported as far as 150 km south east of what would later be
pinpointed as “ground zero” – an area within or adjacent to Banjawarn Station!
According to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
“170 times larger than the largest mining explosion ever recorded in the Australian region”
“the force of a small nuclear explosion, perhaps equal to up to 2,000 tons of high explosives”
The Hiroshima bomb was equal to 15,000 tons of high explosives.
The incorporated Research Institute for Seismology also concluded that it was consistent with the impact of an iron meteorite with a radius of between
0.5 and 1.6 m.
A small plane was sent to search the area for the impact site. A 300 foot (90m) crater would be expected but even though this is sparse barren land, a
crater was never found.
The event was then swept under the rug until the Sarin attacks took place and suddenly people started becoming interested in the Banjawan station
A Senate investigation was launched which concluded that the blast was likely “natural in origin”.
When addressing the issue of the cult and links to it..subcommittee senior counsel John Sopko said.
”Eventually, we got information that led us to believe the group was out of the country at the time of the blast,”
”That pretty much eliminated the possibility of a weapons test.”