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Aum Cult Implicated in Nuclear Information Stealing

By Vasiliy Golovnin
Itar-Tass News Agency
March 29, 2000

TOKYO, March 29 (Itar-Tass) - Japan's doomsday cult Aum Shinri Kyo got hold of massive classified information about nuclear installations of Russia, Ukraine and several other countries, Tokyo's police department said.

The department's sources said Aum Shinri Kyo obtained this information by breaking into computer networks.

The cult also had detailed sensitive information on routes and procedure of nuclear fuel transportation in Japan.

Evidence of this was obtained in recent police searches of companies related with Aum Shinri Kyo.

One of them, the computer company Weinker, had a contract for developing a business information processing system for Isikawajima-Harima, a large machine tool corporation.

Aum siphoned off from its database information about Russia-commissioned device for plutonium processing.

Aum also stole information depicting the safety system of Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These data were asked by the Japanese Foreign Ministry for assistance to Ukraine.

The cult also obtained information about nuclear facilities of China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Aum Shinri Kyo is known for its focus on latest technologies, in particular military ones.

It manufactured on its own the war gas sarin which it used in the deadly attack in Tokyo's underground in March 1995.

The sect was pursuing nuclear research, to thus far unclear ends, at its base which was found and crushed by police at the Fuji mountain's foot.

Russian Ministry Denies Aum Shinrikyo Had Access to Data

By Anna Bazhova
Itar-Tass News Agency
March 29, 2000

MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry on Wednesday denied assertions that the Japanese religious sect Aum Shinrikyo may have access to classified information regarding Russia's nuclear facilities.

The statement followed a report by the Tokyo police department claiming that Aum Shinrikyo had such information.

Japanese police believe that the sect obtained this information by unauthorised access to computer networks. But the Atomic Energy Ministry said its computer networks were quite secure and "there have not been and will never be break-ins".

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