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Russia to add Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult to list of terrorist organizations

September 20, 16:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The court received enough evidence that the group’s illegal activity "threatens the constitutional system of Russia and security of the state"
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MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The ruling of Russia’s Supreme Court on banning the Aum Shinrikyo international religious group in the country will be sent to the Federal Security Service for including it in the list of terrorist organizations, a spokesman for the Prosecutor-General’s Office told TASS.

"After the ruling enters into force, it will be sent to the bodies of the Federal Security Service to be put on a single federal list of organizations, including foreign and international organizations, recognized as terrorist in line with the Russian legislation," Alexander Kurennoy said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court satisfied a request of the Russian prosecutor general on recognizing the Aum Shinrikyo group as a terrorist organization and banning its activity in Russia.

The court received enough evidence that the group’s illegal activity "threatens the constitutional system of Russia and security of the state," Kurennoy said. The prosecutor’s request was based on the federal law banning the creation and activity of organizations aimed at promoting, justifying and supporting terrorism.

Aum Shinrikyo was founded by Japanese national Shoko Asahara in 1987 and made global headlines in 1995 when its followers sprayed the lethal nerve gas sarin on five trains of Tokyo metro. The terrorist act claimed the lives of thirteen people. In September 1999, the Japanese Public Security Investigation Agency said Asahara had admitted the fact of the terrorist act with the use of sarin. A court found him guilty in 2004 of thirteen out of the seventeen charges and sentenced him to death.

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case this April over setting up of the group, the activity of which involved violence against people and infliction of damage to their health. The investigators said unidentified persons had set up a union of followers of the Aum Shinrikyo group in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Between 2012 and 2014, the group raised money via Internet to carry out its illegal activity that involved "violence against citizens and injury to their health," the investigators said.

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