As in many cultures, weather phenomena are seen in Islam as an act of God. Their appearance in jihadi visual propaganda is used to evoke notions of divine power, wrath and justice, and remind the audience of God’s total inscrutability prior to creation. By using such symbols, jihadi groups are able to represent themselves and their cause as instruments of divine will and power. The current image contains a black cloud, which is traditionally a sign of divine wrath, and palm trees in the midst of a storm. Thus, the image implies hope, calm and the salvation that will come after the storm (i.e., the jihad), and warns the enemy of the consequences of God’s wrath.
The caption both verbalizes the storm motif and continues the visual representation of it by scattering the letters of the word “al-i‘sar” (“the storm”). The caption, which rhymes, reads: “al-i‘sar min junud aljabbar” (“the storm from the soldiers of al-Jabbar”). Al-Jabbar is one of God’s names, meaning the most powerful. The red color of the flags blowing in the wind is further intended to evoke associations of blood, passion, impulse, danger and warlike qualities.