US set to remove Aum Shinrikyo from foreign terrorism blacklist

13newsnow.com -- May 16
The United States is poised to remove five extremist groups, all believed to be defunct, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, including several that once posed significant threats, killing hundreds if not thousands of people across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Although the groups are inactive, the decision is politically sensitive for the Biden administration and the countries in which the organizations operated, and could draw criticism from victims and their families still dealing with the losses of loved ones.The organizations are the Basque separatist group ETA , the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, the radical Jewish group Kahane Kach and two Islamic groups that have been active in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt.

Removing the groups from the list has the immediate effect of rescinding a range of sanctions that the designations had entailed. Those include asset freezes and travel bans as well as a prohibition on any Americans providing the groups or their members with any material support. In the past the material support provision has been broadly defined to encompass money or in-kind assistance, in some cases even medical care.

Aum Shinrikyo (AUM), the Japanese “Supreme Truth” cult that carried out the deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 that killed 13 people and sickened hundreds more. The group has been considered largely defunct since the executions of its top echelons, including leader Shoko Asahara, in 2018. It was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.