Globally Aum

Reader, Ian
March 2012
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies;2012, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p179
Academic Journal
The Aum Affair, Counterterrorism, and Religion Aum's activities have had a global impact on counterterrorism thinking. Its use of chemical and biological weapons caught the attention of policy makers and security forces globally, and Aum became a seminal influence on the way security and government agencies, especially in the United States, conceptualized the future of terrorism to be chemical, religious, and apocalyptic in nature. Such perceptions conditioned counterterrorism policies in the years prior to 11 September 2001, and strategic studies specialists now debate whether this led the USA in particular to underestimate threats from other more conventional modes of terrorist violence. Even after 9/11, Aum continues to feature in counterterrorism discourses and military training manuals, and continues to represent, for security services and policy makers, the "public face" of chemical and biologically oriented terrorism. This article examines these issues and shows how the Aum Affair was not simply restricted to Japan but had a global impact and profile.


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