Apr 17 2007
Cho Seung-Hui, the killer in the VA Tech massacre, grew up in the Northern VA suburbs outside DC. One thing I was trying to find (but in the end long time readerr SBD did find) was any link between the Korean community here in DC and Islamo-Fascism. So while there is no link that Cho was driven to kill by anything other than his personal demons, there is still the possibility that his demons were flamed by fanaticism:
He never made it to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, but Yong Ki Kwon — a Northern Virginia engineer who fled the United States nine days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — said it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Kwon, 29, is a South Korea-born graduate of Virginia Tech who is serving an 11-year prison sentence as a result of his guilty plea last year on federal conspiracy and weapons charges. He has emerged as the prosecution’s star witness in the case against Ali Al-Timimi, an American Islamic scholar charged with recruiting soldiers for the Taliban just five days after Sept. 11.
The holy war was conceived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the dawn of the 21st century and was born at a meeting in his Fairfax, Va. apartment Sept. 16, 2001, when Kwon said he and several companions decided to heed the call of spiritual adviser Al-Timimi and to be trained to join the Taliban.
Kwon said he grew to know and respect Al-Timimi as he regularly attended lectures at Dar Al Arqam mosque in Falls Church, Va.
As SBD asks – coincidence? Or a community trend. What is interesting is there is a connection between the paintball case and one Randolph “Ismail” Royer who was indicted along with Kwon.
A feisty organization called Anti-CAIR put out a notice today pointing to the fact that when Royer was driving around the Washington, D.C. area in September 2001 with an AK-47-style rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, he was not a former CAIR employee but an active one, as indicated by a USA Today story from that time referring to him as “Ismail Royer of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”
OK, so Google can find connections to Koreans from VA Tech who were Jihadists. What does this prove? Not much, unless a connection between Kwon or Royer and Cho can be established.
On a different angle to this story I think we can put to rest the jilted lover angle. It is clear the first student killed had a boyfriend at Radford who police initially suspected:
After two people, Emily Jane Hilscher, a freshman, and Ryan Clark, the resident adviser whose room was nearby in the dormitory, were shot dead, the campus police began searching for Karl D. Thornhill, who was described in Internet memorials as Ms. Hilscherâ€™s boyfriend.
According to a search warrant filed by the police, Ms. Hilscherâ€™s roommate had told the police that Mr. Thornhill, a student at nearby Radford University, had guns at his town house. The roommate told the police that she had recently been at a shooting range with Mr. Thornhill, the affidavit said, leading the police to believe he may have been the gunman.
She was clearly not involved with lone and unapproachable Cho. So why did Cho single her out?