The lion, which is an important motif in Islamic art and culture, evokes qualities of bravery, strength and valor for Muslim audiences. The motif recurs in the Qur’an, the hadith (prophetic traditions) and classical Arabic poetry. In the modern era, it has been deployed by Islamist authors such as Sayyid Qutb, and has become a key motif in jihadist propaganda. It is employed as a symbol of honor for both major jihadi leaders and for low-ranking suicide bombers/jihadi militants, and may also be used to suggest martyrdom or designate a martyr-to-be. In this image, the lion refers to Amir Khattab, the co-founder of the Islamic International Peace Keeping Brigade (IIPB). The caption reads: “khattab asad al-shishan asad al-ma‘arik” (“Khattab is the lion of Chechnya and the lion of battles”). The crossed RPGs at the bottom center are clearly emblems of militancy.
The caption at the top is a simple calligraphical representation of the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger).