Extremist groups from the Arab world that claim religious affiliation with Islam have shaped the way we see the word “terrorist,” but a Japanese-based cult thought dead in 1995 may be resurfacing as a terrorist organization worthy of international concern.
In April of this year, Russian police raided twenty-five homes and shrines in St. Petersburg and Moscow that were tied to Aum Shinrikyo, a doomsday cult originated in Japan. Ten were arrested for their ties to the cult, which has been banned in Russia despite having an estimated 30,000 active members within the sprawling nation.
“During the searches, we found and seized ritual items and electronic media. In addition, we discovered addresses of several more active participants of the cult – 11 in Moscow and 14 in St Petersburg,” Irina Volk, a spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said about the raids at the time.
A month prior, fifty-eight foreigners, many of whom were Russian, were expelled from Montenegro after raids in Danilovgrad and the nation’s capital, Podgorica. The cult members were expelled due to failing to register with immigration upon entering the nation, though thousands of euros and various electronics were confiscated for forensic analysis.