Japan doomsday cult guru's daughters arrested


Reuters, February 19, 2000

TOKYO, Feb 19, 2000 (Reuters) - Two daughters of Japan's doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping the guru's seven-year-old son, police said.

Police arrested the daughters aged 19 and 16 for allegedly being a part of a group of six members of the Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) cult who barged into a cult building last month, assaulted other members and made off with the boy.

The incident was part of an internal power struggle within the group blamed for 1995 deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, they said.

The cult struck fear in Japan with the gas attack five years ago, which killed 12 people and made thousands ill.

The boy was found unhurt at a small inn about two days after he was taken captive. Police have arrested five of the six people who were allegedly involved in the kidnapping.

In January, the group announced drastic reforms, including a name change to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, "Aleph."


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