Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department will be adding new criminal charges against Katsuya Takahashi, the final Aum Shinrikyo cult member who was arrested on June 15th after 17 years on the run. His original arrest warrant was for murder and attempted murder for his participation in the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system. The new charges are in connection with an attempted bombing attack on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, also in 1995, and include additional counts of attempted murder and violation of Japan’s Explosives Control Act.
Police investigators now believe that Katsuya Takahashi and another Aum Shinrikyo member who is currently on death row, Yoshihiro Inoue, created and mailed a small explosive to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters. It was opened by an employee who was badly injured as a result. Takahashi is suspected of not just creating the bomb, but also plotting their methods and execution.
Naoko Kikuchi, the second to last Aum fugitive, who was caught shortly before Takahashi, was also given additional criminal charges last month. Investigators now know she attacked several people with toxic VX gas in the months leading up to the March 20th, 1995 subway attack. While Kikuchi and Takahashi have spent 17 years on the run, trying to hide from police, their horrific crimes have finally caught up with them. Maybe now Aum Shinrikyo leader, Shoko Asahara, along with other leading cult members, will have some new company on death row.