Tomomitsu Niimi (新実 智光 Niimi Tomomitsu?, born 1964) is a former Aum Shinrikyo member indicted for participation in the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway and a number of other crimes. He was Aum's "minister of internal affairs".
Judge Yujiro Nakatani said that his Aum-related crimes began in 1989 with the strangulation killing of Shuji Taguchi, who had attempted to flee from the cult. He also strangled Tsutsumi Sakamoto and Tatsuhiko, his 1-year-old son the same year.
Tokyo subway sarin attack
Before the Tokyo subway gas attack, Asahara wanted to try the sarin gas on humans. He chose his rival, Daisaku Ikeda, the leader of Soka Gakkai, one of Japans most popular "new religions." Asahara directed his men to rig a spraying device on a suitable vehicle at one of the nights when Ikeda was supposed to speak in public. All was going well until the device sprung a leak, splashing liquid sarin onto Tomomitsu Niimi, Asahara's security chief. Fortunately for Niimi, Kiyohide Hayakawa was present and quickly administered an antidote in time to prevent Niimi's nervous system from shutting down.
Together with Ikuo Hayashi, Niimi participated in the subway gas attack (there were several other perpetrators as well): Hayashi delivered the sarin-filled package and pierced it with a sharpened umbrella tip, while Niimi served as a car driver.
Unlike other former Aum members involved in criminal acts, Niimi delivered no apologies and stoically accepted the death sentence. During one of his earlier court hearings Niimi proclaimed his "absolute faith" in Shoko Asahara, Aum Shinrikyo's founder, and spoke about various levels of 'enlightenments' he had been able to experience during his religious trainings in Aum. He then spoke about human sufferings, saying that "some are suffering thinking that this world is illusory and some thinking that it is real. Concerning the former members who now testify against their guru [Asahara] who did them so much good, I believe their suffering is based on the perceptions that this world is real".
- Jones, Seth G.; Libicki, Martin C. (2008). How terrorist groups end: lessons for countering Al Qa'ida. Rand Corporation. p. 53. ISBN 0-8330-4465-6.
- Aum Shinrikyo officer Niimi given death sentence for role in 26 murders The Japan Times, June 27 2002
- Guinea Pigs FALSE PROPHET: THE AUM CULT OF TERROR (chapter 18), Patrick Bellamy
- Tooma, Michael (2008). Safety, Security, Health and Environment Law. Federation Press. p. 60. ISBN 1-86287-668-1.