Russia Tokyo Gas Attack
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 95 23:14:59 EDT
Subject: Russia & Tokyo Gas Attack (fwd)
I really don't know what to make of this...
The Daily Yomiuri
March 31, 1995, Friday
HEADLINE: Aum friendly with high Russian official
BYLINE: Yomiuri Shimbun
The Aum Supreme Truth sect has had close relations with some officials high
in the Russian government, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Wednesday.
While the sect operates in several countries, Russia, where it has aired some
regular radio programs and operated affiliated companies, is considered its
strongest position abroad.
Aum once issued a booklet with a photograph of its founder Shoko Asahara and
Oleg Lobov, head of the Russian Security Council.
Lobov, a former vice prime minister of Russia, is one of President Boris
Yeltsin's closest associates. He is also a former chairman of the Russia
The booklet contained a statement that Lobov had recommended Aum be allowed
to use part of the Russia Japan Foundation's building as its headquarters.
A staff member of Aum's affiliate company Mahaposha visited the Defense
Agency in November 1993 and asked for permission to use a large helicopter of
an organization chaired by Lobov to fly to Taiwan.
He told of a plan to use the helicopter, which can carry 100 passengers, to
fly from Vladivostok to Taiwan via Niigata, Fukushima, Hachijojima island and
Okinawa. The plan was not carried out.
The company later bought another large Russian helicopter, Mil 17, which
police found on Aum's property in the Asagiri highlands near Mt. Fuji during
the recent search.
Aum leaders also visited Ruslan Khasbulatov, then speaker of the Congress of
People's Deputies, in March 1992.
"Aum started its activities in Russia in 1990 or sometime around then. The
group first tried to have close ties with the Communist Party's leaders, then
with officials close to Yeltsin after the coup d'etat plot in 1991," a source
close to Russian government said.
The source said Aum was obviously supported by some high government officials
because only Aum was dropped from the list of "organizations to be watched,"
after the counterespionage office once concluded it should be on the list.
A reporter for a prominent Moscow newspaper predicted that Russian politics
could be shaken by Aum-related scandals as the Japanese police investigation
After the March 20 sarin gas attack on Tokyo subways, the Russian government
voided Aum's registration as a religious group and the court seized its
A Moscow radio station also decided to stop broadcasting Aum's programs.
Former Russian Vice Prime Minister Oleg Lobov and Aum founder Asahara,
pictured in an Aum booklet photograph.