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).