Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ismail Ax?

Sources: College Gunman Left Note

The note left by the jerk included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

Ismail Ax? I wonder what that means...

I can't help thinking that had some citizen been armed, the carnage could've been prevented. At the very least, some of those kids might have been saved.

Now all we can do is pray for their families.


Anonymous said...

ISMAIL AX - The reference may be to the Biblical sacrifice of Abraham, in which God commands the patriarch to sacrifice his own son. Abraham begins to comply, but God intervenes at the last moment to save the boy.

In the Jewish and Christian traditions, the son is Isaac, father of the Jewish people; in Islam, it is his older half-brother, Ismail (Ishmael in Hebrew).

Abraham uses a knife in most versions of the story, but some accounts have him wielding an ax.

A more obscure reference may be to a passage in the Koran referring to Abraham's destruction of pagan idols; in some accounts, he uses an ax to do so.

Christy said...

Contrary to most comments in other blogs looking for some connection to Islam, I think it's to do with the following:

Google Image searches turn up more than current blogs for "Ismail Ax" ;)

M. E. H. Ismail, The zeros of basic Bessel functions, the functions $J_{\nu +ax}\left( x\right) $ and the associated orthogonal polynomials, J. Math. Anal. Appl. 86 (1982), 1-19. MR 83c:33010

Still mysterious, but maybe he was just writing cheat notes on his arm? Not everything -has- to have some sort of grotesque meaning.

Anonymous said...

Ismail Ax is apparently a French or French Creole student, possibly a musician.
He is at center in this photograph.

This comes from the blog narcissik-ax.skyrock.com, which is all in French and seems not to have anything to do with either Islam or gaming.

Nick Westman

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"the man with the smoke"

ismail axe means "we love america". we as arabs and muslims love you americans. we are a peaceful religion. we do not spew hate like you filthy jews and christians. you americans are a vile, evil gaggle of perverts. you have no history and decency. you try to destroy and rape innocent arabs.

اسماعيل فاس يعني "نحب امريكا". فنحن العرب والمسلمين
الامريكيين أحبك. نحن دين سلمي. ولا بث الحقد مثلك قذره اليهود والمسيحيين. اليكم الاميركيين الشريره والشر قطيع من الشواذ. ليس أمامكم التاريخ والأخلاق. انك تحاول تدمير واغتصاب الأبرياء العرب.

Anonymous said...

The answer is on this obscure website.


He was in Indonesia last august, tranitting from terrorist training, for al qaeda.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

lol what a stupid american, calling for more guns as a solution, absolutley pathetic

Anonymous said...

I'm not suprised this happened. I'm actually very suprised that it wasn't an emo bitchy white dude.

What's is wrong with you white people! letting an asian terrorist wannabe beat you in school shootings?!?! GET TO IT EMO KIDS! make the white race proud!

Bob said...

"Ismail Ax" is an Islamic citation. It demonstrates that the killer was an Islmaic Terrorist killing innocent people for Allah, the same as they do every day in Baghdad and other cities around the world. His message was that he killed for Allah and Islam.
Catch more of bob at: http://bobstruth.blogspot.com

cube said...

I wonder, does anonymous stand for lying coward? Hmmmm, there is much evidence to support that opinion.

Anonymous said...

Wiki has an article regarding Ismail Axe.

Apparently, it's some type of Shia sect.

Anonymous said...

I can't help thinking its b/c of people like you that kids can get guns with such ease and shoot up a school.

Susie said...

Anonymous is saying that we white americans are causing all of the problems??? Funny because just in Virgnia this month, we've had this tragedy AND two girls in Virginia Beach killed by aliens (resident and illegal) NOT WHITE PEOPLE!!!

Anonymous said...

What sickens me the most is how the South Koreans are praising Cho almost like a national hero, saying that he saw the cure to Americas problems.. fuckers

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with you people? Killing has nothing to do with your religion or the collor of your skin.. Killing has something to do with if yuo're a psyco or not..

Anonymous said...

To many people are dead because of the worlds most stupid weapon law.

Re-elect one of your idiot gunqrayzed republicans, and you may rest assure, that this is not last time you have seen incident like this.
George W. Bush should be ashame of himself and have stayed at home, instead of tarnishing the victims reputation....

BeckEye said...

Gotta love those incoherent, anonymous commenters cube. It means you've finally made it.

"Ismail Ax" means "vague scrawling that some psycho left behind (and we'll never know what was going through his head because he's dead) which the media will spend 2 months trying to decipher, while only giving a fraction of that time to remembering and honoring the innocent victims that he killed."

Anonymous said...

worlds most stupid weapon law? well that was put into law with the founding of this country. so bush had nothing to do with it. if it werent there i wouldnt be suprised if he could get a gun some other way, does stop kids getting drugs and other illegal substances. grow up man

cube said...

beckeye: yay, finally a comment from someone I recognize :-)

I agree with you. Who knows what lurked in that deeply disturbed noggin? IMO he was just another whiney, crybaby loser who wouldn't take responsibility for his actions...even after death.

Perrild and Jensen said...

I don’t belive that ax should stand for axe. Why would he not write the “e”?
I have been looking around for information about ”Ismail ax” and here’s what I found:

Ismail might have had a dobbel meaning.
Ismail can also be written like “Ishmael”. This might refer to the first and famous line in “Moby Dick”: ,,Call me Ishmael”.
Some of the main themes in Moby Dick are the human struggle after meaning, happiness and salvation. If you look at the life this Cho-guy had is makes good sense since he apparently had a lonely life. But why not just write “Ishmael” on the arm you might ask?
Well Ismail was a mathematician and that lead us to the next word: “ax”.
There’s a regression called y = ax + b.
But what have that to do with all the other stuff?
Regression also means relapse or psychological relapse.

Ismail is both referring to Moby Dick and the themes, and a clue to the next word, ax.
ax is a part of a regression and regression also means a psychological relapse.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a google identity, sorry. But i wish the anonymous who posted all those dumb ass comments suffers something just as tragic or someone very close to him, family...

Anonymous said...

Korean culture
Do avoid to use red ink, since red ink traditionally was used to convey an insulting message. Especially, do not write names in red ink - this symbolises death!

Anonymous said...

its an anagram.

cube said...

Here's an anagram for anonymous:


Figure it out.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Look at this webpage here, it's in French but it's translated... the dude says "look at the picture, it's me, my buddy "smoking gun" and the other guy "ismail ax". Maybe HE knows what it means?


Anonymous said...

Is funny how we humans are. Specially a few that see in this tragedy an opportunity to expose their selfish and shamless opininon blaming the episode on matters they don't even know.

Come on People, take advantage of this tool to spread a little bit of positive feeling, optimistic thoughts or just your sadness, but please don't keep on throwing violence through your words.


PEACE to all and acceptance to the love ones of the dead.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, remember?

Oliver Twisted said...

You guys need to think a little more simple on this one. It's just an anagram. He was shooting indiscriminately. ISMAIL AX = AIM IS LAX.

Maybe (big maybe) he knew the Koran story and put this together. If he did, that was sort of clever.

Anonymous said...

yeah if someone would have been armed...

what does that solve? would you prefer that everyone had a hand gun in their back pocket? would that make you feel safe? or just a few of us.. the ones that you choose are legit.

seems like an impossibility.

i think some 50 people died in iraq yesterday

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a reference to a James Fenimore Cooper novel.


Anonymous said...

There is a character / player name with the name in the online computer game Guild Wars.

Anonymous said...

A citizen was armed... He killed 33 people. Haven't you heard?

Anonymous said...

It is time to start restricting immigration. I dont have a problem with guns. I have a problem with religious violence. Study some science and lets all move on already.

Anonymous said...

seriously...it is so hurtful to read some of these comments. why are people so ugly, trying to instigate and mocking this tragedy as if it was a laughing matter. some of us are deeply affected by this, vt and the people there are close to our hearts. take a little time, think about what you type before you do so...and to everyone else, please don't stop praying not only for the people at tech and their families and friends but specially for the cold people who are apparently desensitized to the situation.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

oops, sorry, you might want to check out the link concerning Ismail Semed. Apparently awaiting execution in China on political charges.


Anonymous said...

People who wish to commit violent acts, with or without guns, will do so. In England where obtaining a firearm is exceedingly difficult, someone used a knife to slash folks in a mall.
The desire for violence superceeds the need for a firearm, it can be done in a variety of ways.

As far as a "reason" or a motive? Does it really matter? We attempt to try to make the sane out of the insane. At times, that is most impossible.

My prayers and thoughts to all who have been affected by this tragedy.

cube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Can't speak to the Ismael Ax business, could mean several things. The guy clearly was disturbed.

It is a shame there was no return fire. Fact is there will always be evil people; it is wrong to allow them the initiative with no response possible by the good folks.

The Euros' and the wanna be's are riffing on the gun control thing again- Nice of them to focus on this myth and get off the global warming fiction for a couple of minutes!

Look, if you don't want to fight thats fine but let those who will do the heavy lifting do so and stay out of the way.

Guns are used to save far more lives than take them. It's not just a Zen thing! But empirical facts seldom enter the calculus of the shrill (Rosie O!).

I know it is hard for the average euro socialist to accept, but they have made a case study out of giving way and ignoring evil. Abortion, euthenasia, Islamification of once Christian countries, are all symptoms of the cowardice evident among much of the world.

We stand alone in the face of evil and really only about half of us are in the fight. The other half are like the Euros- looking for a greater welfare state tit to suck off until their countries are history due to declining birth rates and unsustainable demands on the dwindling producers who can't hold off the inevitable.

God bless America and thank him for the wisdom that gave us the 2nd amendment to our constitution.

Semper Fi


Jen in IN said...

Ok, so part of this has been reported. The following is from a website regarding Korean culture. Notice the part about the number 4---it happened during the 4th month on the 16th (4X4) and he killed 32 students (4X8) before taking his own life. I believe it's been reported that 15 others were injured (33 killed plus 15 injured is 48 which is 4X12). That part could be a stretch because I don't know the exact numbers. Even though all of that seems like a coincidence, I think the red ink has more to do with his Korean background than with Islam. Only my opinion, but it does make a person think.


Red ink is permissible when using a chop (name seal). Do NOT use red ink when writing a living person's name, however, since red is associated with death. Red ink is used to record a deceased person's name in the family register and also on funeral banners to drive off evil spirits.


Number 4 is an unlucky number for Koreans since it sounds like the Korean word for death (sa). For this reason, some buildings do not have a fourth floor. If the building does have a fourth floor, the elevator may show the fourth floor as "F" instead of "4".

Anonymous said...

You know what i dont understand is the people say'n ax was axe mispelled, and Ismail is also mispelled but come on he was 23 and an english major and he can spell ax????

Anonymous said...


mangmoe said...

My simply assumption:

I would go for Ax first. I looked up the word for the capital letter A- America or American. I just came up to my mind. I searched for American X. The result came up to me is a site for AsainAmericanX.com.
"One of the most urgent issues for Asian Americans is immigration and adaptation. This refreshing collection of coming-of-age essays, edited and written by young Asian Americans, clearly captures the joys and struggles of their evolving identities, and poignantly depicts the many oft-conflicting ties they feel to both American and Asian cultures. The collection highlights the vast cultural diversity within the category of Asian American, yet ultimately reveals how these young people are truly American in their ideals and dreams."

"Asian American X is more than a book on identity; it is required reading both for young Asian Americans who seek to understand themselves and their social group, and for all who are interested in keeping abreast of the changing American social terrain."

I think this was what he was dealing with American society. He might have read the book or been a member of the site. My support idea is he was also an English major who wrote and read literature work.
Also, this leads me to think about a name of a person. I searched it again and found that Ismail is a person. “He was a film producer/director who was honored with an award at the 2006 AX awards,” but he died in 2005.

I don't think there is nothing to do with religious.

This is just my opinion.

cube said...

I've gotten some diverse opinions. I guess time will tell what was in this gunman's head.

Anonymous said...

Ismael or Ishmael is depicted in the three major religious texts. In the Old Testament of the Bible Ishmael is the son of Abraham and his mistress Hagar (before Sara was able to give birth to Issac). After Issac is born Abraham sends Ishmael into exile. In literature many famous authors (Melville in Moby Dick) have picked up on the Bible's them of Ishmael as a social outcast and orphan. In Moby Dick "Call me Ishmael" the narrator is on a whaling ship due to the social ostracism he has faced in the mainland. My guess is that this crazy kid (as a english major he would have known the meaning this word held)believed he was some sort of anti-hero (an Ishmael) making some sort of commentary on society.

Anonymous said...

I did some research in the names database. There is a person with The name Ismail Ax. His identity is also unknown. I don't think the police have found this out yet.

Ersan di

boeddi said...

" ismail ax = ismailax = is mai lax = is my luck "

Brooke said...

Wow, you got trolled and then some, Cube!

birdwoman said...

cube, what the heck happened on this thread? I thought at first you ticked someone off with the early anonymous entries, but then there were actually some insightful anonymous entries.

did you get some kind of instalaunch or something?

cube said...

brooke: There's always a first time, eh?

bw: Nope, no instalaunch. I think the words "Ismail Ax" were googled by the entire world & I just happened to post about it.

I must've gotten ~ 10,000+ page views yesterday.

This clearly beats my previous #1 word search -- "sydney brooke simpson".

Anonymous said...

this is an online gaming reference. There is an AX Clan in games such as jedi knight and red faction. I'm thinking this dude was an avid online gamer and he has sort of acted out his game fantasy.

cube said...

Gosh, I miss the limelight...

Rev Carter said...

The meaning of Ismael Ax:

"Investigators said Cho's body was found Monday with the words "Ismael Ax" scrawled on his arm."


He does not name anyone specifically, but he mentions "hedonism" and Christianity, and he talks at length about his hatred of the wealthy.

"Small Axe" (Bob Marley)

Why boasteth thyself
Oh, evil men
Playing smart
And not being clever?
I said, youre working iniquity
To achieve vanity (if a-so a-so)
But the goodness of jah, jah
I-dureth for-i-ver

So if you are the big tree
We are a small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down

These are the words
Of my master, keep on tellin me
No weak heart
Shall prosper
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it, fall in it
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it (... fall in it)

If you are the big tree, let me tell you that
We are the small axe, sharp and ready
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down

(to cut you down)

(to cut you down)

These are the words
Of my master, tellin me that
No weak heart
Shall prosper
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it, uh, bury in it
And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall bury in it, uh (... bury in it)

If you are the big, big tree
We are a small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down
If you are the big, big tree, let me tell you that
We are a small axe
Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
To cut you down
Sharpened ...


Say it out loud...

A small axe.

Just my theory, but I suspect I'm right.

-Rev Carter LeBlanc

Anonymous said...

If the lad was pushing to be an English major, it would seem fitting that the ismail was a writer, then his ax would be a pen not a gun.
There are many literary connections between these two "writers"


Anonymous said...


if ismail was a name and the boy was an English major, it would seem fitting that the ax in reference was more likely a pen, then to a gun. there are too many relasionships between what the lad said and this man wrote, IS the Ax that Ismail drove home in Dec 2004

Anonymous said...

AX simply means: "Asian Excellence" in the Asian-American community.


Perhaps he was insane enough to believe that he'd done enough "good actions" to receive an AX award posthum like Ismail Merchant got one posthum in 2006, too. Quentin Tarantino got an AX award, too, for filming and directing some of the most cruel and violent mass murdering scenes ever.

cube said...

Hmmm, that's an interesting angle.

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