While Muslims across sectarian lines share a reverence for many holy sites, some sites hold special significance for certain groups. The Ka‘ba in Mecca, which appears in the background of this image, is the symbolic and literal center of the Islamic faith for all Muslims, and it is a common motif in jihadi imagery. It is the single most important, and holiest, site in Islam and evokes the strongest sense of Islamic identity and tradition across all Muslim sects and groups. Although it is inherently pan-Islamic, the Ka‘ba can also be employed to draw attention to issues concerning Saudi Arabia. Use of the Ka‘ba motif may also internationalize, or pan-Islamize, specific Saudi-centered jihadi concerns, such as the “occupation” of the Saudi holy sites by American forces during the first Gulf War.

Here, the Ka‘ba is shown in the background of a picture of an operative named ‘Amir Khalif al-‘Unazi, who is also known as al-‘Unazi.  Al-`Unazi, a Kuwaiti, was the emir of “Usud al-Jazira Cell” in Kuwait. He and his brother fought in Iraq.  Al-‘Unazi died while in custody in a Kuwaiti prison in February 2005. Here al-`Unazi’s image is linked in the image with  a nashid for Usama Bin Ladin, entitled “Ruwaydak ya Usama” (“take it easy, O Usama”).

More Information
Group Name GIMF
Group Type Jihadist Group
Dominant Colors Brown
Secondary Colors White, Red, Blue
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans "Ruwaydak, ya Usama"
Image Number 0129
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Kuwait
Body Parts Face / Bust, Eye/s
Geopolitical Symbols Symbol of party, movement or company
People Operational Leader, Man / Men
People Analysis `Amir Khalif al-`Unazi
Religious Textual References Other Medieval Text
Religious Textual References Analysis Blessing on the dead "rahimahu Allah ta`ala" [may God have mercy on him]
Religious Symbols Holy Site
Religious Symbols Analysis Ka`ba and surrounding courtyard
Topography Man-made Structure / Landmark
Topography Analysis Ka`ba, mosque courtyard

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