Ismael Ax walked his demented soul out into the quiet early-morning peace of his residence hall at Virginia Tech University. It was just after 7:00 am on Tuesday morning, April 19th, 2007. But the peace all around him was about to be shattered by the evil raging in his own personal hell.
He was about to transfer all that evil into a terror attack of historic proportions. A few hours later, 33 people would lie dead at his hand, many others injured, thousands of lives changed forever.
The news reports have and likely will continue to refer to this killer by his legal given name of Cho Seung-Hui. They will refer to him as a student at Virginia Tech who was “disturbed” and that there were “warning signs” that preceded the attacks. But that is not how the killer referred to himself. The now-infamous letter sent to NBC news by the killer contained an explanatory letter which he signed “Ismael Ax”.
Why, considering the climate in the world since the overt terrorist attacks around the world over the last decade, would this demented soul not sign his name, and instead choose one with an obvious Muslim connotation? Is there any reason to believe that this attack was not just a random one by a single disturbed individual, but instead is yet another example of radical Islam rearing its ugly head?
The name he chose, Ismael, is one that is a uniquely Arabic spelling of the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac, who became the father of all the Arab peoples, just as Jacob/Israel became the father of all the Hebraic (Jewish and Christian) peoples.
The attacks occurred on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and one of the professor’s killed was a Jewish holocaust survivor. But these are only the beginnings of the potential radical Islamic ties. He has at least one tattoo in Arabic writing.
His father lived in Saudi Arabia as a young man. His sister works for a contractor to the State Department that controls billions of dollars worth of aid to Iraq. He wrote some now notorious “plays”, the contents of which are now available on the internet. These plays rant about what he sees as American and western decadence, taking swipes at institutions as varied as McDonald’s, the NFL, and the Catholic Church.
Finally, his family had settled in Fairfax County, Virginia, home also to a 29-year old Virginia Tech graduate student from South Korea named Yong Ki Kwon, who was recently convicted of terrorism as one of the “paintball jihadis” who practiced massacres with their paintball guns. Fairfax County…Virginia Tech…South Korean…terrorism…jihad…coincidences all?
Taking all the listed “coincidences” listed here individually could be considered by some as playing into the concept of a “six degrees of separation” game between every major incident that occurs and radical Islamic terrorism. But as a law enforcement professional it is my opinion that taken together they add up more closely to the concept of “probable cause.”
The FBI and other investigators are no doubt beginning to look into these ties. There is reportedly much more on the tapes and in the personal writings of Ismael Ax than has been released to the public at this stage. My guess is that we will learn much more in the coming days and weeks that will thrust the issue of radical islam and it’s involvement as either a direct or indirect cause of this attack into the public debate.
One fact that is not for debate is that once again sin as evil has reared it’s ugly head, whether it has once again taken one of it’s most favored recent forms of radical islam or not. Paul in his letter to the Romans spoke of sin saying “when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”
The Reverend Billy Graham wrote in his work “Angels” referring to Lucifer, originally one of the greatest of all angels, the Angel of Light: “Lucifer became Satan, the devil, the author of all sin; and it is sin that has always deceived, disturbed, betrayed, depraved and destroyed all that it has touched…Satan and his demons are known by the discord they promote, the wars they start, the hatred they engender, the murders they initiate, the opposition to God and His commandments. They are dedicated to the spirit of destruction.”
This “spirit of destruction” is everywhere you look on the news today. It can be found particularly in the results of the most recent work of sin in the life of a man who called himself Ismael Ax. A sinner as a disturbed and depraved individual, yet another tool chosen by Satan to use as a destroyer of human beings.
Radical islam is the root cause of many recent terror attacks, and we may soon learn that it once again has reared its ugly head, this time on the campus of Virginia Tech.