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Makeshift memorial to the victims at Virginia Tech University


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 that peace which surrounded 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. Just a few hours later, 33 people would lie dead at his hand. Many others were injured, and thousands of lives were forever changed.

News reports have and likely will continue to refer to the 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” preceding the attacks.

But that is not how he wanted to be remembered. A now-infamous explanatory letter sent to NBC news was signed “Ismael Ax” by the killer himself.

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 a uniquely Arabic spelling for the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac, who became father to all the Arab peoples, just as Jacob/Israel became the father of all the Hebraic (Jewish and Christian) peoples.

These attacks occurred on Holocaust Remembrance Day. One of the professor’s who was killed is a Jewish holocaust survivor. The killer has at least one tattoo in Arabic writing. These are only the beginnings of the potential radical Islamic ties.

The killer’s 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.

The killer wrote what he considered “plays”, the contents of which are now available on the internet. These were rants regarding what he sees as American and western decadence in which he takes swipes at institutions as varied as McDonald’s, the NFL, and the Catholic Church.

Finally, his family had settled in Fairfax County, Virginia. The town is home also to a 29-year old Virginia Tech graduate student from South Korea named Yong Ki Kwon, recently convicted of terrorism as one of the “paintball jihadis”, a group which practiced massacres with their paintball guns.

Fairfax County…Virginia Tech…South Korean…terrorism…jihad…coincidences all?

Taking all the “coincidences” listed here individually might 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. 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 up for debate is that once again sin as evil has reared it’s ugly head, whether or not it has once again taken one of it’s more favored recent forms of radical islam or not.

Paul in his letter to the Romans spoke of sin:

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.

This particular sinner was obviously 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 much sin, and of many recent terror attacks. We may soon learn that it once again has reared its ugly head, this time on the campus of Virginia Tech in the form of Ismael Ax.