Senator Sam Nunn has revealed that the Aum Shinri Kyo cult once tried to buy materials to make nuclear and chemical weapons. Nunn, ranking minority member of the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, told the New York Times that before the deadly nerve gas attack in Tokyo last March, the Japanese group had recruited two Russian nuclear scientists and tried to buy a $500,000 laser system that could have been used to measure plutonium. The sect, whose leader faces murder charges as a result of the subway attack, had also tried to buy 400 Israeli-made gas masks and did purchase land in Australia where it tested batches of the deadly sarin nerve gas on sheep. Mark Thompson reports: "This is going to be increasingly problematic as more and more terrorists get access to materials to make chemical and biological weapons. The concern should not be terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons facilities can be easily detected using existing intelligence. The problem is that a simple fertilizer plant can make chemical weapons, and any sort of medical facility can produce biological weapons. That's what makes it so appealing to the bad guys; anyone can make them undetected. My fear is that it will take a major tragedy before governments coordinate with each other to prevent future attacks."