This image seems to have been produced before Usama bin Ladin’s death on 5 January 2011, partly because it makes use of a traditional prayer phrase usually reserved for the living, “hafizahu Allah” (“may Allah keep him safe”), after Bin Ladin’s name at the top. The top caption also includes a calligraphic representation of Bin Ladin’s name, and reads in its entirety as follows: “shaykh al-mujahidin usama bin ladin, hafizahu Allah” (“leader of the mujahidin [fighters], Usama bin Ladin, may Allah keep him safe”).

In the center against a green colored banner appears the caption which contains a quote from UBL: “inna tanzim al-qa‘ida lan yamut bi-mawti, wal-mu’minin bi-fardiyyat al-jihad didda a‘da’ al-islam yatawaldun wa-yatakatharun bil-sa‘at, la bil-ayyam…!” (“Indeed the al-Qa‘ida organization will not die with my death, and those who believe in the duty of jihad against the enemies of Islam are [sic.] multiply by generation and become numerous in hours, not days…!”).

The image contains pictures of several important figures in the global jihadi network, including Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi (of the group Jund Ansar Allah) and Abu Yahya al-Libi.

More Information
Group Name AQ
Group Type Jihadist Group
Dominant Colors Green, White
Secondary Colors Blue
Language Arabic
Image Number 0373
Groups Region of Operation Global
Weapons Firearms, Automatic / Assault Rifle, Rockets, RPG, Missile
Weapon Analysis Rifle. Missile, surface to air.
Body Parts Face / Bust
Fire Light Rays / Light
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis Black flag.
People Group Leader / Influential figure, Spiritual Leader / Idealogue, Operational Leader, Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis Usama bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Yahya al-Libi (AQC), Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi (JAA). JAA and PIJ member Abu Maslama Hasan al-Qatrawi, other armed fighters.
Religious Textual References Shahada, Other Medieval Text, Use of Calligraphy
Religious Textual References Analysis La ila illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah. Traditional phrase for the living (the image was posted before AQ confirmed the death of UBL on jihadi message boards).
Religious Symbols Black / White / Green Banners
Religious Symbols Analysis Black banner with text of shahada.
Visual Themes The green of the banner in the center and the background on the bottom 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 (prophetic tradition or report) that associates green with “universally good things.” Finally, the color is 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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