9. Aum Shinrikyo
While several cults are monitored by authorities, not all are deemed terrorist organizations. That’s not the case for Aum Shinrikyo.
This Japanese cult stole headlines in 1995 after unleashing sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system during rush hour. The attack killed 13 people and injured thousands. More than 192 people were charged in connection to the attack including leader Shoko Asahara, who received the death sentence.
Asahara considered himself the first “enlightened one” since Buddha, and he sought intelligent university students to fill his ranks. Often, these followers came from elite families.
The cult exists today as two factions called Aum and Aleph.