This is the cover of the 4th issue (August 2005) of al-Jama’a magazine, which is published by the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC)/al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The caption at the top of the magazine reads: “A Magazine that Covers the Issues of the Algerian Jihad.”
In the top right corner, the map of Algeria appears with a black banner bearing the text of the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger). Depicting a country map without bordering countries or bodies of water emphasizes the national context and scope of that specific regional jihad. Thus, this image designates Algeria as an important theater for jihad, and implies a national obligation to join the struggle. The shahada appears again at the bottom, on the logo of GSPC/AQIM, further emphasizing the perceived connection between the organization and being righteous, faithful and on God’s path. The text in the image reads, from top to bottom: “innahu al-taghut, fahdhuruhu!” (“he/it is an evil idol, so beware of him/it!”); “la budda min al-jihad” (“there is no escape from carrying out jihad”); “shuhada’ amrika” (“the martyrs of America”); and “atamnna, ya shabab al-maghrib al-islami hadha yamukum” (“I hope, O youth of the Islamic Maghrib, that today is your day!”). To the right of the text, in the center of the image, is an American flag in flames. The American flag, or parts thereof (such as the stars and stripes), are widely used in jihadi propaganda to evoke negative sentiments towards U.S. foreign policy and military campaigns.
The background of the image includes several significant features. First, there is a desert landscape, which is often used in jihadi visual propaganda as a marker of Islam and Arab traditions and identity.