While Muslims across sectarian lines share a reverence for many holy sites, some sites hold special significance for certain groups. For instance, the Dome of the Rock is recognized and revered by all Muslims, as it was built in 692 A.D. by the Umayyid caliph ‘Abd al-Malik on the site where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in his mi‘raj (night journey). Indeed, it is considered the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and al-Madina. At the same time, the Dome of the Rock is a powerful symbol of Palestinian nationhood. Because of its status in Islam, the Dome of the Rock is often used to code a message of inspiration for jihadi activism and the goal of martyrdom.

The barbed wire surrounding the site is another visual aid used to underscore the message of jihadi activism and the sense of urgency behind the implied invitation to join the group’s struggle to release/free/save the Dome of the Rock. Barbed wire is a common jihadi visual motif, often used to refer to Jewish power or Israeli control over perceived Muslim interests. At the top, the caption reads: “sa-aati ilayki raghma kull al-sudud” (“I will come to you in spite of all the obstacles”).  The text in the lower left indicates that it was produced by “shabaab al-salafiya al-jihadiya fi bayt al-muqadas.”

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Group Name Shabab al-Salafiyya al-Jihadiyya fi Bayt al-Maqdis
Group Type Jihadist Group
Group Affiliation Local Jihad (Independent entities with limited or no ties to international / external movements)
Dominant Colors Blue, White
Secondary Colors Black
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans 1) sa-aati ilayki raghma kull al-sudud 2) shahada
Image Number 0328
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Israel/Palestine
Weapons Cold Weapons and Defensive Armor, Barbwire/ Chain Link Fence, Firearms, Automatic / Assault Rifle, AK47, Ammo Belt / Vest, Non-Military Technology, Telescope / Night Vision / Other Optical Devices
Body Parts Pointer Finger, Blood, Face / Bust
Body Parts Analysis Covered Face.
Air Clouds / Fog, Sky
Geopolitical Symbols Slogan
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis Armed masked fighter
Religious Textual References Shahada
Religious Textual References Analysis La ila illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah (including the seal of the Prophet).
Religious Symbols Holy Site
Religious Symbols Analysis Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa.
Topography Man-made Structure / Landmark
Topography Analysis Domed mosque and minaret.
Visual Themes The cloud is the bearer of rain and therefore bounty (khayr, which is a synonym for rain), and is a sign of good things to come.

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