Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction

1213 Words5 Pages
In today’s modern society, access to dangerous information can give groups looking to promote their cause through violent means a new approach as to how to achieve their goals. Such was the case for Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth), a Japanese religious cult better known for their attack on the Tokyo subway system in March of 1995. The failure of local law enforcement to identify this vulnerability following precautionary warnings form vigilant citizens led to the death of 19 innocent people and over 5000 seriously injured. The early identification of such chemical vulnerabilities becomes a vital part in the mitigation of chemical threats and safeguarding of the surrounding populous. In 1984, Shoko Asahara founded a new religious group, which focused on ridding the world of negative karma and attaining spiritual liberation “Aum’s devotees believed ardently that the world was in a state of chaos and was being dragged, through the accumulation of negative karma, towards destruction” (Bellany, 2007). Aum Shinrikyo was based on Buddhists and Hindu principles with a splash of the Christian Armageddon theory therefore the belief in rebirth in a re-established earth was a driving factor as to why its fanatic members were so devoted to ridding the world of all the negative karma. Aum Shinrikyo’s members was so devoted to their principles that they were ready to carry out their beliefs by any means including violence, murder and the production of chemical weapons. In the early stages, Aum Shinrikyo’s membership numbered in the hundreds, but by the mid 1990’s there were over 9000 members in Japan alone and over 40,000 worldwide. As Aum Shinrikyo’s membership grew, so did their belief of superiority over the rest of the world. The combina... ... middle of paper ... ...reat to the local populous: the capability, the opportunity and the intent. Understandably the local authorities had their hands tied when it came to dealing with members of Aum Shinrikyo due to their religious status, but they did realize that the potential to cause harm was there. It’s the lessons learned from organizations such Aum Shinrikyo that make vulnerability assessments such a vital part of CBRN Soldiers everyday operations. By examining local potential threats, CBRN Soldiers can better prepare their units to face any CBRN threats and aid in the preservation of life. Works Cited Bellany, I. (2007). Terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. New York, NY: Rouledge. Hacking , I. (2000, October 19). What did aum shinrikyo have in mind?. London Review of Books, Retrieved from http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n20/ian-hacking/what-did-aum-shinrikyo-have-in-mind

More about Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Open Document