While participating in jihad gives a jihadist important religious credibility, death in battle provides immortality, as the deceased is ranked a martyr. It is believed that Muslim martyrs will be highly rewarded in the afterlife for their sacrifice and hold a special position in heavenly paradise. It is therefore not surprising that martyrdom is a central theme in jihadi visual propaganda.

This specific image portrays an armed and masked insurgent from the Ansar al-Islam group who is looking over the bloody bodies of two men. The caption in the top right corner reads: “fawaris baghdad sayyadu al-awghad” (“cavaliers of Baghdad are hunters of the weak”). The aerial map of Baghdad highlights Baghdad in particular and Iraq in general as an important theater for jihad and reminds the viewer of the national obligation to join the struggle.

The image of the bodies has been heavily edited (the uniform bears an Iraqi flag).

More Information
Group Name Ansar al-Islam (aka Ansar al-Sunna or Jaysh Ansar al-Sunna or Jama`at Ansar al-Sunna)
Group Type Jihadist Group
Dominant Colors Red
Secondary Colors Blue
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans 1) Shahada 2) Fawaris baghdad sayyadu al-awghad
Image Number 0412
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Iraq
Date Image Created Online 01/02/2011
Date Image Created Online Details Posted by a member who calls himself Abu al-Hija' al-Ansari (i.e. a member of the al-Ansar group) on 2/1/2011. The image was designed by Nasir al-Dir
Weapons Cold Weapons and Defensive Armor, Body Armor (including Gas Mask, Helmet), Firearms, Sub / Machine Gun, Ammo Belt / Vest
Weapon Analysis Light machine gun (RPK?)
Body Parts Blood, Face / Bust
Liquid Drops / Tear, River / Stream
Geopolitical Symbols Country / Regional Map, Non-country Flag, Symbol of party, movement or company, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis Baghdad topographical map. Partial or incorrect Iraqi flag. Partial AQI/ISI logo - shahada that includes the seal of the Prophet
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis Ansar al-Islam fighter
Religious Textual References Shahada
Religious Textual References Analysis La ila illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah (including the seal of the Prophet)
Religious Symbols Seal of the Prophet

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