The image is from a video series entitled (center caption) “fursan al-shahada” (“knights of martyrdom”), part 7. The video was produced by al-Furqan Media Foundation, the media arm of ISI.  In a common measure of self-promotion, the image also contains the phrase (just right of center) “al-isdar al-mar’iyy al-mutamayyiz” (“the excellent video production”). In the bottom appears a number of different jihadist figures. From left to right: ‘Abdallah Hasan ‘Asiri (who attempted to assassinate the Saudi Prince Nayyif in August 2009 in an operation executed by AQAP), Baitullah Mehsud (the previous leader of TTP), Hakimullah Mehsud (current leader of TTP) and Abu Dujana al-Khurasani (Khost bomber), Usama bin Ladin and Abu al-Laith al-Libi (experienced AQ commander killed in Afghanistan).

The black banner standing to the right of the computer screen is featured throughout jihadist video productions. According to hadith (prophetic tradition or report), the black flag was the battle flag of the Prophet Muhammad and it was carried into battle by many of his companions.  In the contemporary Islamist movement, the black flag is used to evoke notions of jihad and of reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate. In particular, the black banner with the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger) and the seal of the Prophet has come to be associated with the al-Qa’ida franchise (i.e., al-Qa’ida in Iraq, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, etc.).

More Information
Group Name Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)
Group Type Jihadist Group
Group Affiliation AQ Affiliates / Associates
Dominant Colors Red, Yellow
Secondary Colors Black, White
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans 1) fursan al-shahada 2) shahada
Topography Keywords
Image Number 0225
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Iraq
Date Image Created Online 23/12/2010
Date Image Created Online Details Posted February 23, 2010 by Nico Prucha
Weapons Firearms, Automatic / Assault Rifle, AK47, Non-Military Technology, Communications Equipment
Weapon Analysis Computer screen
Body Parts Pointer Finger, Face / Bust
Fire Flames, Smoke
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag, Symbol of party, movement or company, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis Black flag with text of shahada. AQI/AQAP logo - black banner with seal of the Prophet/shahada and al-Furqan logo (AQI/ISI) - white calligraphical representation of the word "al-furqan" in the shape of a mosque with a crescent on top.
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis `Asiri (AQ)
Religious Textual References Shahada, Use of Calligraphy
Religious Textual References Analysis La ila illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah (including the seal of the Prophet)
Religious Symbols Black / White / Green Banners, Cross
Flora Trees / Shrubs, Palm
Topography Man-made Structure / Landmark

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up