The logo shown in this image appeared at the bottom of a post on the aljahad forum by a “murasil” (sic.) (“correspondent”) of Jihadi Media Elite, along with the caption: انشر؛ كُن مشاركًا ولا تكن متفرجًا (“spread the word, be a participant, not an onlooker”). The post contained an audio clip by Abu Sufyan al-Azdi that was produced in January 2011 by al-Malahim production, a group associated with al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, and distributed by Jihadi Media Elite.
The logo contains a number of elements that are part of the jihadi visual propaganda repertoire: the black banner, bearing the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger); a raised hand, grasping a globe; and the caption “ghulibat al-rum” (“the Romans were vanquished”) which is the second aya of sura al-rum (30:2).
According to prophetic tradition (hadith), the black flag was the battle flag of the Prophet Muhammad and it was carried into battle by many of his companions. Furthermore, in the 8th century, the flag was used by the ‘Abbasids during their revolution against the ruling Umayyad clan and its Caliphate. The image of the black flag has been used as a symbol of religious revolt and engagement in battle (i.e., jihad). In the contemporary Islamist movement, the black flag with the shahada is used to evoke notions of jihad and of reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate.
The curved lines suggest transmission to the entire globe. Jihadi visual propaganda uses images of the globe/planet earth in order to globalize localized issues and conflicts, as well as to articulate the global aims/nature of the jihadi struggle and/or particular groups.