RECENT ALEPH DEVELOPMENTS
Aleph has made headlines recently on several occasions that are uniformly noteworthy. As the Justice Ministry in Japan slowly uncovers more and more pertinent information we can expect the intentions of Aleph to become clearer to the discerning individual or agency. As of now, Aleph is still shrouded in secrecy, their intentions likewise obfuscated. Confidential statements made by senior Japanese officials indicate that the complete story behind the Aum gas attacks has yet to be fully realized.
ALEPH IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
**In the last several months, numerous Aum associates have made interesting appearances in the public forum**
In the Japanese Justice system, 3 members of Aum were sentenced to death. These include Seiichi Endo, Aum’s chief chemist, Mainichi Shimbun, Aum’s Minister of Health and Tomomitsu Niimi, an Aum officer responsible for executing the gas attacks. Each will die by hanging.
In contrast to the death sentences, two important Aum members have been released from prison. Eriko Iida has completed her 6 ½ year sentence for the illegal confinement (resulting in death) of Kiyoshi Kariya. Tomoko Matsumoto, wife of Aum guru Shoko Asahara, has been released after completing her 6-year sentence for the murder of a cult member. Upon release she professed to have severed all ties with Aleph. This claim is highly suspect.
**As context for Japanese public opinion in regards to Aleph, included are noteworthy quotes from several unique sources**
“The sect attempts to conceal its organizational management by using systems such as the internet and video conferencing to relay its orders and manage and teach its members” – Justice Minister Masahiko Komura
“[Aleph] is not just a domestic problem…. If the authorities cannot contain it, [Aleph] can spread sarin again, perhaps overseas next time.” – Masaki Kito, Cult Prosecution Lawyer
“Our current group has undergone reforms and abandoned the use of any type of violence…. We are not a terrorist group.” – Fumihiro Joyu, Leader of Aleph
“It is true that the gas attacks were not for the purpose of hurting or killing, it was for the second reason which we do not yet know.” – Japanese Official [Confidential] (This refers directly to the possibility that Aum/Aleph has a complex and long-term focus for the gas attacks, which did not involve destruction)
“[Aleph] still poses a danger to society, although it is trying to obtain public trust by holding frequent news conferences and taking other steps. It still tends to be exclusionist and shows strong resistance to outsiders.” – Yukio Kakiage, Director of the Justice Ministry’s Public Investigations
**A summary of current Aleph activities will be helpful to the interested observer**
· Aleph continues to make several hundred million yen a year through manufacturing and selling computer components. An additional hundred million comes from fees for private rituals amongst the Japanese populace. Aleph’s total public income is estimated to be in excess of half a billion yen each year.
· Aleph avoids police monitoring through clever deployment of encrypted internet streaming and other forms of counter-espionage technology. Even with the sophisticated monitoring technology available to law enforcement officials, Aleph continues to prevent infiltration of their data networks.
· Infiltration into Aleph membership has been completely unsuccessful as cult leaders relentlessly monitor the membership and activities are ruthlessly enforced.
· Tortures and imprisonment disguised as religious rituals are still enacted on a regular basis.
· Former Aum membership in Russia is actively involved in collaboration with Aleph members in Japan.
· Aleph continues a misinformation campaign targeted at alleviating the pressures of public opinion and government investigations.
· To this date, actual recovery of Aum’s advanced-research technology has yet to be accomplished. Documents referring to this technology have been recovered numerous times.
· Aleph infiltration of high-technology organizations continues (Aum infiltration was never completely uncovered).
· Aum’s doctrine of destruction based upon Shiva continues unchanged in Aleph. This doctrine was Shoko Asahara’s prime foundation for Aum’s Armageddon-based mission.
· Aleph remains on the US Government’s list of International Terror Org’s.
It would be wrongly optimistic to assume that continuing Japanese investigations of Aleph will prevent any current destructive goals from coming to fruition. The confines of Japanese law prevent necessary action from being taken against Aleph. Until hard evidence of continuing plots are uncovered, the Japanese government will be unable to prevent Aleph from pursuing Asahara’s vision. Such hard evidence will generally only be recoverable through illegal operations against Aleph. Such action will need to be taken by external intelligence agencies. It is halfway likely that such a scenario will eventually play out due to heightened international awareness in regards to WMD terrorism.