17 Years Later, Japan Nabs Final Gas Attack Fugitive

Doomsday guru's bodyguard arrested in Tokyo after massive manhunt
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2012 12:52 AM CDT
Japan Nabs Final Gas Attack Fugitive
Japan mobilized thousands of police to hunt for Takahashi after a fellow cult member supplied information on his whereabouts.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

(Newser) – The final suspect in a doomsday cult's deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system has been arrested after 17 years as a fugitive. Katsuya Takahashi, 54, was busted at a comic book cafe in Tokyo after a member of the staff recognized him, reports AP. Takahashi, the former bodyguard of cult leader Shoko Asahara, had long been on Japan's wanted list for his role in the attack, which killed 13 people and injured more than 6,000 in 1995.

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Takahashi's trail had been cold for many years before fellow cult fugitive Naoka Kikuchi was arrested earlier this month. Kikuchi, who lived with Takahashi for 10 years until 2006, supplied police with information that led them to a construction firm where he worked, but he had fled his dormitory by the time they arrived. Takahashi, who allegedly drove cult members to the locations where they launched the deadly attacks, will now be put on trial and may end up joining the 13 other cult members, including Asahara, who are on death row. (Read more Japan stories.)

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