The Aum Shinrikyo Cult And Shoko Asahara

1210 words - 5 pages

There have been countless amounts of terrorist attacks occurring across the country. Vicious groups or terrorists who are responsible for those attacks have been apprehended due to supporting evidences found and the cooperation of rogue members; nevertheless many groups are still untouchable and causing chaos. As Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) senior noncommissioned officers, we must be trained and ready to face any type of attack. Throughout history, it is clear that terrorist groups are relying more on biological warfare due to the ease of acquiring and life threatening effects on the intended victims. However, not all biological attacks are successful and the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s miserable attempt in dispersing airborne anthrax would have been catastrophic if executed appropriately.
Before discussing the failed attempt in releasing the biological agent anthrax in Kameido, let us begin with the cult responsible for fear and biological attacks in Tokyo, Japan (Rosenau, 2001). The Aum Shinrikyo cult was formed and lead by a blind, yoga instructor by the name of Shoko Asahara and the cult’s name is derived from meditation and the “supreme truth” (Walton, 2010). Asahara devoted his life to the ultra practice of meditation and spirituality. He influenced many followers into believing nuclear war would come to Japan; therefore they had to develop their own type of defensive weapons (Walton, 2010). Asahara leadership was beyond manipulative. Amazingly, he inspired multiple of influential and respected individuals like government officials, police, and scientists into joining his organization (Walton, 2010).
Anthrax was not Aum Shinrikyo first unsuccessful attempt in biological weapon and definitely not their last trial in producing a biological weapon. Aum Shinrikyo is notoriously known for their massive panic and lethal dose of sarin released in the subway stations of Tokyo (Meyer, 2004). The precision and thorough planning of sarin resulted in causalities and the local response teams were obviously not prepared for an unexpected event. The Aum Shinrikyo was a defiant force for the Tokyo police and government official to deal with. In spite of the multitude of evidences and endless complaints that shined a spotlight on the Aum Shinrikyo before the subway incident, police were unable to touch them. Thus bringing the question-- how influential was Shoko Asahara towards the military and other local government forces? To allow deadly bioterrorism upon unarmed and innocent civilians should have sparked a demanding interest in capturing all members of Aum Shinrikyo and banishing the organization. Unfortunately, nothing was done when the anthrax failure occurred; therefore the cult continued to wreak havoc on Tokyo by the use of sarin.
According to Takahashi, Keim, Kaufmann, Keys, Smith, Taniguchi, Inouye, and Kurata (2004), many residents reported numerous complaints to authorities and environmental personnel...

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