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Russia Bans Doomsday Cult Behind 1995 Tokyo Sarin Attack

Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo has been named as a terrorist organization by Russia's Supreme Court, the Russian tabloid Life News reported Tuesday.

The decision means that the group, which now operates under the name “Aleph,” will no longer be permitted to operate within the Russian Federation.

Life News reported on Sept. 14 that there were 300 members of the cult currently living in Russia, of which 50 were “active members.”

Founded in 1984, Aum Shinrikyo gained worldwide notoriety after being found guilty of carrying out the Toyko subway sarin attack in 1995. Thirteen people died in the attack, with as many as 6,000 thought to be injured.

The act is believed to have been an attempt to bring down the Japanese government and install the group's founder, Shoko Asahara, in its place.

Asahara prophesied that an upcoming nuclear “apocalypse” would destroy the world, but that his followers would be saved.

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