The caption at the bottom is from a famous nashid (religious a capella song) that reads: “dayya’atki dumu’ al-nifaq; sa-yafdiki nahri ma’a al-madma'” (“tears of hypocrisy have squandered you away; so my throat will redeem you with tears”).

The image contains several familiar elements from jihadi visual propaganda, including black banner, a holy site and other religious structures, crossed rifles, a Qur’an, lightning bolts, a dominant green background and the face of Usama bin Ladin. 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. 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 (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger) is used to evoke notions of jihad and of reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate.

Finally, the al-Aqsa mosque is recognized and revered by all Muslims, but it is mostly a powerful symbol of Palestinian nationhood. It is considered the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and al-Madina. Its appearance in this context ties together the two theaters of jihad, Iraq and Israel/Palestine, as part of the global jihad movement. In addition, the appearance of Usama bin Ladin serves to remind the viewer of the Islamic State of Iraq’s organizational affiliation with al-Qa’ida and to lend the group an aura of legitimacy.

More Information
Group Type Jihadist Group
Dominant Colors Green, White
Secondary Colors Yellow, Red, Black
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans 1) shahada 2) dayya`atki dumu` al-nifaq; sa-yafdiki nahri ma`a al-madma`
Image Number 0319
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Iraq
Weapons Rockets, Missile
Weapon Analysis Surface to Air
Body Parts Face / Bust
Air Lightning, Sky
Fire Light Rays / Light
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag, Symbol of party, movement or company, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis Black flag with text of shahada (including the seal of the prophet). ISI/AQI logo - black flag bearing shahada that includes the seal of the Prophet.
People Group Leader / Influential figure, Operational Leader, Man / Men
People Analysis Usama b. Ladin (AQC).
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 Holy Site, Black / White / Green Banners, Seal of the Prophet
Religious Symbols Analysis Al-Aqsa mosque. Black with Prophet's seal.
Flora Trees / Shrubs, Palm
Topography Man-made Structure / Landmark
Topography Analysis Domed mosque and minaret.
Visual Themes The green color of the background resonates the idea of God's benevolence, and is symbolic of creation, life and sustenance. Furthermore, green is considered the traditional color of the Prophet Muhammad's tribe, and has been adopted as a sacred color based on Qur'anic verses (76:21; 18:65-82) and a reliable hadith that associates green with "universally good things." Lastly, the color is also related to jihadi doctrine, as it is believed that while the corpses of martyrs lay in their graves, their souls are to be put into the bodies of green birds that drink from the rivers of Eden and eat from its fruit.

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