This image is a clip from a 15 minute, 40 second Urdu-dubbed video in which Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud is interviewed by a representative of the group’s media arm, Umar Studio. The logo of Umar Studio, a yellow calligraphical representation of the word ‘Umar, appears on the right.

The background against which the figures appear is significant in several respects. First, there is an image of the Ka‘ba below two crossed swords. Reverence for the holy site of the Ka‘ba in Mecca is shared by all Muslims across sectarian lines, as it is the symbolic and literal center of the Islamic faith for all Muslims. Because of its status in Islam, the Ka‘ba is a common motif in jihadi imagery.

The swords are likely a reference to early Islamic history and the first generation of Muslims. Swords are seen as noble weapons that embody the religious purity, nobility and righteousness that is associated with the Prophet and his companions, as well as their successful military campaigns. Thus, the image of a sword helps depict current jihadi activities as modern extensions of those early campaigns and lends them an aura of legitimacy.

Beneath the Ka‘ba and the swords is a blue and white banner bearing the name of the TTP in Urdu. On the right is a white banner bearing the text of the takbir (the words “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great”).

More Information
Group Name TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan)
Group Type Jihadist Group
Group Affiliation AQ Affiliates / Associates
Dominant Colors White
Secondary Colors Red, Blue, Gold
Language Urdu
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans Takbir
Image Number 0232
Groups Region of Operation South Asia
Groups Country of Operation Pakistan
Weapons Cold Weapons and Defensive Armor, Sword / Crossed Swords, Firearms, Automatic / Assault Rifle
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag, Symbol of party, movement or company, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis White banner with the name of the Tehrik-i Taliban in Urdu. Umar studio (TTP media arm) logo- calligraphic representation of the word `Umar.
People Group Leader / Influential figure, Operational Leader, Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis Hakimullah Mehsud, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader.
Religious Textual References Takbir, Use of Calligraphy
Religious Symbols Holy Site
Religious Symbols Analysis Ka`ba
Topography Man-made Structure / Landmark
Topography Analysis Mosque

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