Abdallah Azzam’s grave

Since I am
on the topic of cemeteries, I figured I might post this picture that
supposedly shows Abdallah Azzam’s grave at the Babi martyr cemetery outside Peshawar shortly after his burial in late 1989. 

The picture is a screenshot from a video that depics the immediate aftermath of Azzam’s assassination as well as the whole burial. Azzam was assassinated by a roadside bomb in Peshawar in the morning of 24 November 1989, and he was buried the same evening. The martyr cemetery at Babi is probably the most famous of all jihadi cemeteries, and many Arab Afghans killed in the 1980s and 1990s rest there.

Cartoons and hand drawings in al-Jihad magazine

Jihadi propaganda nowadays is often very sophisticated, both in terms of messaging and technical quality. It was not always like that, however. In the 1980s and 1990s, jihadi magazines and book covers were sometimes illustrated by hand drawings and even caricatures. Hand drawings gradually disappeared as the cost of printing photographs declined. 

I’ll devote several posts to this, but I figured I’d start with some examples from al-Jihad, the magazine published by Abdallah Azzam’s Services Bureau in Peshawar from December 1984 onward. The drawings below are from the first four issues (Dec 1984-Mar 1985). From issue 5 onward the hand drawings are replaced by photographs. 

The first two are particularly interesting, because they are cartoons, which are very rare in jihadi propaganda. I suspect neither was produced by an in-house artist, but rather borrowed from other publications. The second one, with the rifle-swinging Mujahid and the big fist, is probably from a Pakistani source, because the word “jihad” on the fist is written in the nastaliq font.

From issue #1:

From issue #2:

Also from issue 2:

From issue 3:

and from issue 4:

Muslim Dost’s Caliphate dream

Iain Edgar just alerted me to this recent New York Times article about the Islamic State in Khorasan, which includes an interesting dream account: 

The most prominent of Mr. Saeed’s Afghan deputies is Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, a 55-year-old former poet and essayist with an extremist past. Mr. Muslim Dost, who lived most of his life in Pakistan, was detained by the security forces there soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, officials said. He was accused of having ties to Al Qaeda, and the United States military sent him to the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was released in 2005, and joined the Pakistani Taliban before defecting to the new Islamic State branch.

In a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State’s leader and self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Mr. Muslim Dost said he had seen a vision of the Islamic State while he was imprisoned at Guantánamo. He dreamed of a palace with a large closed door, which he said was “the house of the caliphate.” Above the door was a clock that pointed to the time: 12 minutes before 12 o’clock. “It came to my mind that the caliphate would be founded after 12 years, God willing,” he said in his pledge. “This interpretation of my vision was made real.”