Police Find Stash of Sarin Ingredients in Mountains
TOKYO (AP) _ Police searching a forested, mountainous area outside Tokyo today found a stash of chemicals that could be used to produce the deadly nerve gas released on Tokyo subways, reports said.
Since the sarin gas attack in March killed a dozen people and sickened thousands, police have found tons of ingredients that could make the poison at the facilities of the Aum Shinri Kyo cult.
Many of the cult’s leaders are under arrest in those and other suspected murders. But seven cult members are still being sought, and authorities fear they could launch attacks with hidden caches of sarin or other deadly chemicals.
Investigators acted today on a tip from cult members in custody, according to the Kyodo News Service. An NTV television news report showed tarpaulins covering large boxes said to contain the chemicals.
The chemicals were found outside Nikko, a tourist area 75 miles northwest of Tokyo famed for its temples and hiking, the television report and Kyodo said. Badly rusted containers of chemicals were found in the area 10 days earlier by investigators also acting on cult members’ tips, Kyodo said.
Further details were not immediately available, and police would not comment on the reports.
On Tuesday, two devices timed to release enough cyanide gas to kill thousands of people were found in Shinjuku train station, one of Japan’s busiest. Witnesses said two people resembling cult fugitives were seen near the devices, according to reports.
In May, Shinjuku station workers narrowly thwarted a similar attempt. Cult members are suspected in that attempt, according to news reports.