Aum Shinrikyo planned to release sarin at a police station in Tokyo on the same day it gassed the capital’s subway system in 1995, Jiji Press has learned.
The planned sarin attack against the Osaki police station in Shinagawa Ward was averted due to tightened security, an investigative source quoted key cultist Yoshihiro Inoue, who is now on death row, as saying during interrogations 20 years ago.
The revelation comes ahead of the 20th anniversary on Friday of the subway sarin attack, which targeted morning commuters in the city center, killing 13 people and injuring some 6,000.
The planned attack against the police station is believed to have been designed to disrupt a police investigation into Aum, as was the case for the subway attack.
The Osaki police station was preparing to raid locations linked to the doomsday cult over the February 1995 abduction of notary public Kiyoshi Kariya, 68.
Inoue, 45, initially kept silent after he was arrested for obstructing justice in May 1995, the source said.
But he began to make statements suggesting his involvement in a series of crimes by Aum while revealing orders by guru Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.
Inoue also disclosed the planned sarin attack, in which a male Aum member dressed as a woman and carrying a bag of sarin under his clothing was supposed to release the gas by piercing the bag in a toilet at the police station, according to the source.
A few days before the planned attack, the police station received a phone call from someone who claimed to be an Aum member and warned that the cult should not be underestimated, leading the police to strengthen security at the station, including checks on visitors’ belongings, the source said.
The planned attack on the police station could have killed hundreds, the source said.