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16 April 2002 TERRORIST GROUP: AUM SHINRI KYO On 20 March 1995, Aum members simultaneously released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and injuring up to 6,000 more. Today's law enforcement is constantly dealing with smaller and smaller terrorist groups. Throughout history, large armies have fought battles, but today individuals fight battles. With modern technology and an open market for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism has reached a level obtainable by even the smallest groups. The Japanese Aum taught the world a lesson on how easily an organization can threaten a nation with chemical and biological terrorism.The Aum Shinrikyo (meaning the Aum Supreme Truth) was built on the belief of one man being the messiah. Chizuo Matsumoto was born blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other to an extremely poor craftsman of straw mats. As a young boy, Chizuo attended local schools, dreamt of being a leader, and even boasted to peers of one day being the Prime Minister of Japan. Chizuo went out to find wealth with his disadvantages and came up with a plan that started a cult, the Aum Shinrikyo. Under this new cult Chizuo was named Shoko Asahara, due mostly in part to a messiah needing a more flashy name (Kaplan, 12). This new self-made messiah has proved that anyone with a little charisma can influence people to do extraordinary acts that would normally not be considered. Unlike other leaders of terrorist organizations, for example bin Laden, Asahara did not have a lot of money to start a new organization. This is only one example of how easy it was for one charismatic person to get an organization ready for an attack with chemical and biological weapons.Asahara's charisma was and still is the key factor in the success of the Aum Supreme Truth. It is puzzling how a man of poor education, humble origins, and half-crazy can influence others of superior intelligence (Laqueur, 95). Many of Asahara's followers were men and women with a strong educated background. Among the group were doctors, lawyers, and business owners that were looking for a higher purpose that was found in this institute of "higher learning". In order for Asahara to achieve the following of such sophisticated people, he had to demonstrate supreme self-confidence, ambition, and a sense of total control. The leader of such an intelligent group cannot be allowed to make oversights or false-prophecies and the guru of the Aum Supreme Truth was not about to let his apocalyptic prophecies' credibility fall short. Asahara's prophecies centered around the end of the world, and his followers were instructed to pay close attention and prepare for the inevitable.The Aum Supreme Truth organization was established in 1985 with Asahara as the modern-day messiah. Very quickly, Aum collected a large following through various means, including, but not limited to, leafleting and street corner proselytizing (Susumu, 387). Aum's classes on yoga, herbal...

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