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Last fugitive in 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack arrested

Asahi Shimbun / AFP/Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: On March 20, 1995, subway passengers waited to receive medical attention after inhaling nerve gas.

Updated at 7:11 a.m. ET: TOKYO - After 17 years on the run, the last remaining member of the Japanese doomsday cult wanted for the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system was arrested by police Friday.

Katsuya Takahashi, a former member of the Aum Shirikyo cult who is believed to have been responsible for transporting cult members to the site of the subway attack, which left 13 dead and 54 wounded.


He was arrested at a 24 hour comic book cafe after a tip-off to Tokyo police from a cafe employee.

The search for Takahashi had been dormant for close to two decades, but took a dramatic turn earlier this month when another former cult member Naoko Kikuchi who had been wanted for her involvement in the sarin production, was apprehended by the police.

Suspect in 1995 Tokyo gas attack arrested in Japan

After questioning Kikuchi, investigators were able to piece together the last 17 years of Takahashi's life, leading them to the construction company where Takahashi had been working up until Kikuchi's arrest.

From there, surveillance videos surfaced capturing images of Takahashi at a nearby bank and a shopping center.

Takahashi has told police that he was only following orders from the cult, and wasn't aware of some of the operations' objectives.

AP / Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department via Kyodo News

Video footage of a surveillance camera released by Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department shows Katsuya Takahashi, a former member of Aum Shinrikyo cult, at a bank near Tokyo.

Although the principle ringleaders of the cult have long been convicted and sentenced, authorities are hoping that this arrest of the last Aum Shirikyo suspect will shed new facts and details on the cults' most heinous crimes.

The cult was founded in 1984 by leader Shoko Asahara on a doomsday principle that World War III would be instigated by the United States. Asahara predicted the world would come to an end in 1997.  

Msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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