Revealed: the timetable to Tokyo's subway terror

From confessions obtained from Aum Shinri Kyo members, police sources have built up a picture of the planning and execution of the Tokyo subway attack on 20 March.

According to sources in the investigation, the attack was planned and carried out by a hand-picked group of between 10 and 20 cult members, led by 25-year-old Yoshihiro Inoue, the sect's "intelligence head" who was arrested in Tokyo early yesterday.

On 28 February, Inoue is believed to have kidnapped the brother of an escaped cult member who was refusing to give her money to the cult. On 1 March, members of the group rented an apartment in the Shibuya area of western Tokyo. This safe house was about a mile from the Aum headquarters in Minami-Aoyama, where police later found notebooks kept by Inoue, in which he recorded reconnaissance journeys around the Tokyo subway system. As well as the times of trains, he noted the volume of commuters at stations on the Hibiya, Chiyoda and Marunouchi lines, where the gas was later released.

On Sunday 19 March, Inoue accompanied a sergeant in the Japanese Self- Defence Forces, who threw a petrol bomb at the Minami-Aoyama building, apparently to give the impression that Aum was itself the victim of a terrorist attack.

The group then met at the safe house where the supplies of sarin gas were being stored. The sarin was made in the cult's laboratory at Kaniku Isshiki, 70 miles from Tokyo on the slopes of Mt Fuji, and stored in industrial nylon bags, which were specially made in the laboratory.

The machines have been found at Kamiku Isshiki; they produce a unique pattern on the seams of bags, which matches markings on the bags later found in the subway.

The bags were wrapped in early editions of the 20 March newspapers. About 6am that morning, the group left the house and divided into several teams carrying the sarin, which was planted on five trains on the three subway lines. All the trains were due to converge on Kasumigaseki station, the home of several government ministries and the National Police Agency.

Members kept watch on the trains while others punctured the bags of sarin at the height of the morning rush hour. Twelve commuters died and 5,500 others were treated for the effects of the gas. Two Aum members were hospitalised, but discharged themselves from hospital.

The next day, 21 March, local residents reported intense activity at Kamiku Isshiki: many cars and trucks left the commune, including the white Rolls-Royce used by the cult guru Shoko Asahara. On 22 March, the police began their raids.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Team Leader

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Engineer - Linux, Windows, Cloud - Central London

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...

    Recruitment Genius: Quality Inspector

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Female Buddy & Team Leader / Buddy

    £11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To join a team working with a female in her ...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence